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HIV/AIDS cases in CL up by 24.5%.

The number of reported cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) cases in Central Luzon jumped 24.5 percent in June, higher from the same period last year.

There were 61 cases recorded this year compared to the 49 cases reported in 2014, the Department of Health (DOH) data showed.

Of the seven provinces in Central Luzon, Bulacan posted the most cases during the period with one AIDS case and 27 asymptomatic cases followed by Pampanga with one AIDS case and 17 asymptomatic cases.

The rest of the provinces have no AIDS cases but have asymptomatic cases with Tarlac and Nueva Ecija having five cases each; Zambales, four, and Bataan, one, according to DOH.

DOH Regional Epidemiologist Jessie Fantone also disclosed that their Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit had reported a total of five deaths in Central Luzon this year as a result of the disease.

With the rise in cases, Fantone encouraged people in Central Luzon to avail of the confidential HIV testing and counseling in over 91 testing centers throughout the region.

"The stigma of testing is there in the communities and in all settings and that is the reason why we need to put a little strategy on our regular advocacy and involve different sectors including community-based organizations. There is also a need to identify (and train) peer educators," he emphasized.

He further reminded couples to be faithful to their partners; and those with multiple partners and in the business of commercial sex, to use protection during sexual intercourse.

HIV infection is also acquired through needle sharing and blood transfusion.

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Title Annotation:Provincial
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Aug 17, 2015
Words:271
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