Department of Health – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo together with the provincial health officials of Occidental Mindoro formally opens the second HIV/AIDS Satellite Treatment Center in the region located inside the Occidental Mindoro Provincial Hospital in Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro.
“We are targeting to establish one treatment center per province so that anyone who wishes to be tested can freely visit any testing center located in his/her province. This is one of our government’s thrusts of bringing health services closer to the vulnerable sector of our society”, Dr. Janairo stated during the opening of the treatment center on April 4, 2017.
“With this facility in place, we can provide immediate free treatment services to HIV patients in the province. Knowing one’s HIV status, whether positive or not is the key to prevent the spread of the virus in the community. There still no cure for the virus and it is dangerously transmissible,” he added.
The HIV/AIDS Satellite Treatment Center is based in the principles of Anonymity, Respect, Understanding, Guidance, Advocacy or A.R.U.G.A. It will provide safe, comprehensive and compassionate care to HIV/AIDS patients. Its functions also include the management of HIV/AIDS patients through counselling and therapy.
Free treatment services will be given to HIV patients in the province. Voluntary visits will be treated confidentially.
According to the January 2017 records of the HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP), there is one HIV/AIDS positive and one asymptomatic identified in Oriental Mindoro and two asymptomatic cases in Palawan.
According to Janairo, the health department has been giving free antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in treatment centers to HIV positive patients to prevent the virus from multiplying inside the body.
From 1984 to present there were a total of 39 positive cases and 316 asymptomatic cases identified in MIMAROPA. There were 2 from Marinduque; 3 from Occidental Mindoro; 14 from Oriental Mindoro; 17 from Palawan; and 3 from Romblon. Most of the cases were male, 4 positive cases and 329 asymptomatic patients. There are 26 female asymptomatic cases recorded. There are 43 HIV/AIDS cases among OFWs documented. There were 17 deaths reported. MIMAROPA region contributes 1% to the total percentage of newly diagnosed cases per region.
The Major mode of transmission is through bisexual contact, second is homosexual and third is through heterosexual. Lastly, women living with HIV can also spread the virus to their children during pregnancy or lactation.
HIV refers to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system and then causes AIDS. AIDS or Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a life threatening but preventable disease.