Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
According to data from the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod, the number of people who have been treated for HIV/AIDS has increased by 100 percent. The head of the hospital’s HIV/AIDS Core Team revealed that they were treating 55 people for the disease in January 2012 and as of November 30, the number has reached 110. Of this 95 were men and 15 were women and 10 people have died of the disease during that period.
One of the most worrying aspects of the report is that most of those with AIDS/HIV were within the 30-40 year old age bracket, and that the number of persons infected with the disease below 20 years old is increasing. The data is also showing that males are mostly affected with most of them acquiring HIV/AIDS from sex with men, while most of the females got it from their male partners.
AIDS/HIV may not be as deadly as it used to be due to advances in modern medicine, but the disease is still no joke and a 100 percent increase over one year is something that health and local government officials should worry about. If the infections have increase of because somebody is afraid to agitate certain sectors of society by openly admitting that there is a problem, and publicly dispensing advice regarding sex-related practices that can prevent the spread of the disease, then we should brace ourselves for another 100 percent increase in infections in the following year.
Ignoring HIV/AIDS will not make it go away. We may disagree with the lifestyle choices of the people who are putting themselves at risk, but it is still the duty of government to protect the lives and interests of every Filipino, not just those who belong to the majority. The rising numbers say that we have a problem that is bound to get worse unless something is done right now.
The question is: what will the numbers look like next year?*