In Northern Samar
TACLOBAN CITY– The provincial government will continue to extend support to any health-related initiatives, including addressing HIV-AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
This was assured by Vice Governor Clarence Dato as the province joined the worldwide observance of World’s AIDS Day last Saturday (Dec.2).
Based on the record of the Northern Samar Provincial Health Office, the province has recorded 204 HIV cases since 2015, 72 of which have already died, while 74 are undergoing treatment.
“The provincial government will always look after the health of the Nortehanons. We will work hand-in-hand with different sectors and stakeholders to address health issues which include HIV-AIDS and the stigma that comes with it,” Dato, representing Governor Edwin Ongchuan, said.
Jeane Pelayo, HIV-AIDS control program coordinator in the province, said most of their cases were acquired outside Northern Samar.
“We are offering testing and treatment for free at the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital treatment hub. So those who want to be tested need only come to us for help. With the confidentiality rule, we assure you of utmost privacy in the process,” she said.
The HIV-AIDS control program in the province, Pelayo said, is actively carried out in Northern Samar through the HIV-AIDS core team (HACT) composed of health experts.
Based on the record from the Department of Health, since 1984, Eastern Visayas recorded 1,899 AIDS cases with 128 deaths.
Leyte has the highest at 1,006 cases with 51 deaths followed by Samar with 276 cases with 11 deaths; Northern Samar with 224 cases and 33 deaths; Southern Leyte,172 cases with 14 deaths; and Biliran 87 cases with six deaths.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)