CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/ 20 July) –With the cases of the dreaded
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) reaching an “alarming situation” in Region 10, a top health executive has urged the promotion of sex education not just in schools but also within the communities.
Dr. Aristithes Concepcion, formerly the regional director of DoH in Region 9 based in Zamboanga City, said that it’s about time for the different sectors of society to focus on educating the youth about this incurable viral infection.
AIDS is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) ”Personally, there should be a need for sex education, because ignorance to this infection is prevalent especially to the poor communities,” he said. He noted that one of the aggravating circumstances that led to the rise of HIV/AIDS cases not just in Northern Mindanao but all throughout the country is the ignorance on proper sex education.
In Region 10, the DoH reported that of the 69 new cases of HIV/AIDS to date, at least 40 are from Cagayan de Oro City.
But Emiliano Jun Galban, DoH-10 spokesperson, said that about 30 of these cases still need a confirmation.
”It will still be confirmed in Manila to officially say that these victims are indeed positive of HIV/AIDS,” he said.
Most of the HIV/AIDS cases in the region include male victims, said Concepcion, referring to the MSM or Male Having Sex With Male phenomenon.
“Before, the trend was heterosexual, or a man having sex with a woman. But now, male having sex with male is becoming prevalent. And we all know how sensitive it is in doing it (intercourse),” he said. MSM involves sex through anal penetration, with Concepcion stressing that the anal opening has very sensitive nerves that easily “bleeds,” where the virus could enter.
Meanwhile, another possible victim, from Misamis Oriental, claimed to have been infected with HIV.
Roger (not his real name), 25, was diagnosed with the infection after he sought medical attention from a physician here.
”I [want] to know why I’m having muscle pains from the waist down to the legs and rashes in the skin. But the doctor said that I am positive (with HIV),” Roger said.
He said that he became sexually aggressive since 10 years old, and have had many sexual partners, most of them men. ((Nef Luczon/MindaNews)