Seven children ranging in age from 14 and below have been found positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Central Visayas (Region 7).
Department of Health Region-7 (DOH-7) Medical Officer Van Philip Baton, said the DOH is now monitoring the children who were infected with the virus through injection. They are now under treatment and medication.
Region 7 or Central Visayas is composed of the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.
“Based on our study and the record shows that the number of people infected with the virus through injection is increasing because of rampant drug use,” Baton said.
The record also revealed that in the National Capital Region alone there now 47,000 HIV cases while Central Visayas has 3,296 with Cebu ranking third highest.
Baton clarified, that aside from injection, unprotected sex among male same sex partners is also high in the list.
He said that a baby, whose parents are already positive for HIV, can acquire the virus that has no physical manifestations and can only be seen through a series of laboratory tests.
“The HIV test is free test for all those who want to know their status especially those persons who frequently have sexual intercourse with different partners” Baton said.
The virus does not develop overnight, it take years before it becomes full blown acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) with no treatment or cure. But it can be detected through the lab test, he said.
“HIV can be treated and cured. You don’t have to be afraid because the result is confidential” Baton said.
DOH-7 is waging a campaign against HIV/AIDS using the ABC slogan: Abstinence, Be faithful to partner and use Condom for protection.