Marital fidelity seen as key to curbing HIV/AIDS

“The theme is a message for all husbands to keep his vow that he will remain faithful to his wife no matter what,” Luis Moran, an Anti-AIDS advocate said.

Moran also emphasized the importance of self-control among students and couples alike when it comes to sexual intercourse.

“The theme reminds us that there is really no way to stop aids without everyone’s support. That is why we are calling husbands and wives, young and old couples to have self-control. Students, most especially, are strictly prohibited to do what their parents do,” he added.

This city has recorded 21 cases of persons affected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and all of them are victims of heterosexual mode of transmission.

The statistics has remained constant since July 2007.

The Department of Health has information on five of these cases, including that of a 17-year-old girl, the youngest victim reported, and that of a nurse.

The result of screenings of possible HIV/AIDS victims is submitted to DOH but remains confidential.

Part of the campaign against AIDS in Davao City is the prevention of mother to child transmission. This project provides free screening for pregnant women to know if she is HIV/AIDS positive.

Dr. Paulyn Russel Ubial, DOH-XI regional director, told MindaNews that “the Davao Medical Center is the host hospital that offers free screening for pregnant women”.

Since July 2007, more than 3000 women have availed of the free screening at DMC and not one of them has been found to be HIV/AIDS positive.

Ubial explained that should a pregnant patient show symptoms of HIV/AIDS, she will be given free anti-retro viral drug (ARV drug) to prolong her life.

“The ARV drug helps prevent the transmission of the HIV/AIDS virus from the mother to the child during pregnancy, which has a 60-percent possibility to be transmitted. The drug does not absolutely prevent the transmission but we want to save 40 percent of the transmission,” she said.

According to studies made in the Philippines, it is heterosexual and not homosexual mode of transmission that comprises 90 percent of all reported cases of HIV/AIDS.

“Only a very small proportion of all reported cases is through homosexual transmission,” Ubial said.