by Romblon News | Friday, 29 January 2016
The Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) together with various members of the Local AIDS Council headed by local officials of Puerto Princesa City (PPC), Palawan said Friday that they had consolidated and established a sustainable program that will provide and implement quality HIV and AIDS program and services in the city during a recent two-day workshop activity held in Puerto Princesa City.
“A viable response system with coherent and collective approach at the local level for the prevention and control of the increasing HIV/AIDS infection in Palawan, particularly in PPC must be ensured to combat the spread of the disease in the community,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo said.
“The impact of HIVAIDS in the province will continue to increase and we need a coherent strategy that will bring together leaders of all sectors of the community, service providers and welfare organizations to prevent the spread of the disease and to provide care for people living with HIV and AIDS and their families,” he added.
The workshop has developed a local AIDS response program for members of the council by recognizing their roles and responsibilities in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS.
“Everyone must be involved – civil society, local government agencies, schools, churches and make sure that everyone works together to combat its spread through prevention and health education, care and support, treatment and care for children affected by the disease,” Janairo said.
The PPC Local AIDS Council was created through Ordinance No. 620 in August 2014 authored by City Councilor Roy Ventura. It is mandated to craft and recommend policies, propose budget requirements for the implementation of projects, programs and initiatives.
According to the August 2015 HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP), more 18-24 years old are getting HIV in Palawan Province. The basic knowledge on HIV is very low, especially below 25 years old. The start of initiation to sex is as early as 15 years old, first anal sex at 16 yo, first condom use at 17 yo and first HIV test at 21 yo.
From among the diagnosed HIV cases in the province of Palawan, Puerto Princesa City tops the list with 63 percent; municipality of Narra with 7 percent; Roxas 5 percent; with Taytay 4 percent; and the rest of the province with 18 percent.
Among the causes of new HIV infections are male to male sex with 44 percent, males who have sex with both males and females with 42 percent and male to female sex with 15 percent.