ZAMBOANGA CITY: Seventy-four persons died of human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV-AIDS) since January in this city.
This was disclosed on Tuesday by Dulce Amor Miravite, chief of the city’s health department, she said the latest to succumb to the dreaded disease were three individuals from an urban village which she did not identify.
Miravite said the three fatalities were immediately buried by their respective relatives so as not to afflict other family members, as the ailment is “considered contagious.”
She added that since the first HIV case was detected 10 years ago, the number of persons afflicted by the ailment has reached a staggering 530 and is increasing.
Miravite suspects that more are suffering from the highly contagious disease but are ashamed to come out and volunteer to undergo testing.
In this city, HIV-AIDS is rampant among the 15-24 age group, compared to previous years when it was prevalent among the 25-40 age group.
The virus can be transmitted “through sexual intercourse, infected blood transfusion and mother to child.”
According to Miravite, she required her office personnel to regularly conduct “Save a Life” campaign “to monitor and to give free laboratory testing, especially to the vulnerable groups.”
The city health office on December 4 is joining the celebration of “World AIDS Day.”
On Wednesday, she sent her personnel to densely populated urban and semi-urban barangay (villages), such as Tetuan, Sinunuc,Baliwasan, Calarian and Tumaga, where they conducted free testing.