Nine hundred and seventy four. Iyan po ang bilang ng mga kabataang Pilipino ngayon ang nagkaroon na ng HIV-AIDS infection magmula nung 1984. Hindi po ba alarming iyan? Napakarami pong bilang niyan. At ang age bracket ay mula 16 years old to 24 years old. Naitala ang record na iyan sa buwan ng Hunyo ng taong ito (2015), ayon sa Department of Health (DOH).
Sa pakikipagsalamuha ng isang blogger sa siyudad at mga kalye, marami na rin siyang nakita’t narinig. Isang dating talent manager ng mga sexy actresses noon ang minsang nagsabi na rin sa blogger ng ganito: “Robert, saksi ako, saksi ako sa mga kabataang nagkakaroon na ngayon ng AIDS”, anya pa. “Yung iba nga, kakilala ko pa, eh. Kaya nagbago na rin ako, Robert. Hindi na ako iyong malaswang talent manager. Hindi na ako nagpi-pictorial ng mga kabataang lalaking nakahubad, hindi tulad nuon na nagkaroon pa ako ng magazine na ako ang editor at puro hubad na lalaki ang nasa loob. Ayoko na ng ganu’n. Na-realize ko, may KARMA nga. Hindi naging maganda ang buhay ko, nawala rin agad ang mga pera ko. Mas gusto ko na ngayon ang isang malinis na buhay.”
Isa namang nurse-turned-model-turned-actor ang minsan na ring nagkuwento sa isang blogger ng ganito:
“Nurse po ako, at doon sa ospital namin, sa basement, ay mga pasyente kaming may full-blown AIDS na”, wika ng guwapong nurse turned actor. “At nagulat po ako, sir Robert. Karamihan sa kanila ay mga kabataan. Mga teenager. Nakakalungkot po talaga. Ni hindi ko po sila magawang hawakan.”
Sa isang grupo naman ng mga kabataan na naging kaibigan namin, nasaksihan din namin ang matinding iyakan at hinagpis nang mamatay ang isa nilang ka-tropa dahil sa AIDS. Mahilig daw kasi ang ka-tropa nila sa iba-ibang kasiping na partner. Mapa-babae o mapa-lalaki. Pero kalimitan daw, mga silahis na bakla ang pinapatulan ng ka-tropa nila. Baka daw doon nito nakuha ang AIDS. Iyakan sila ng iyakan nuong mamatay ang kaibigan nila.
Ang mga naisulat po namin sa itaas ay TOTOO. Opo, totoong may AIDS at ito’y kumakalat na ngayon ng husto sa Metro Manila. Ang pinakamataas na mga biktima nito: MGA KABATAAN. EDAD 16 YEARS OLD TO 24 YEARS OLD.
Isang panawagan po para sa mga kabataan. Mag-ingat po kayo. Pumili na lang po kayo ng isang ka-partner. Bumalik sa Diyos, sa kalinisan ng puso. At higit sa lahat- SA TAPAT NA PAGMAMAHAL.
MULA SA “91” NA GAGABAY SA INYO, SA MGA ANGHEL NA MAGBABAWAL SA INYO… SANA, HUWAG NANG DUMAMI PA ANG BILANG NG MGA KABATAANG MAY AIDS NA.
MAGMAHAL KAYO NG TAPAT…. FOREVER.
(sinulat ni robert manuguid silverio)
bonus link, courtesy of manila times online:
More young Filipinos HIV-positive
THE Philippines is one of nine countries where the number of human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV- AIDS) cases is growing. But what is more alarming is that many of the new victims are teenagers, with some as young as 15.
Based on a study conducted by the Department of Health (DOH), more young Filipinos have acquired the HIV. Data from the Philippine HIV/AIDS Registry showed that in January this year alone, 118 of the new HIV patients belong to the 15 to 24 age bracket.
They are among the 448 fresh HIV cases reported for the first month of the year.
Half of the 448 victims, or 224 patients, are from Metro Manila, while 16 percent come from the Calabarzon region, seven percent from Davao region, and four percent from Western Visayas. The rest of the regions recorded less than one to two percent of HIV cases this year.
From 1984 to January 2014, 36 people below 15 years old were infected with HIV. For the same period, 429 people aged 15 to 19 acquired the virus, as well as 3,467 in the 20 to 24 age bracket.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has also noticed this disturbing trend, saying new HIV infections “now occur at a younger age.”
“In some areas, one in three persons most at risk are in the 15-17 age group,” Unicef said.
Experts attribute the spike in HIV cases to unprotected sex. The sharp increase in HIV cases started in 2008.
Teresita Bagasao, Country Coordinator for the UN Program in HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), said there is a decline in infection and death figures worldwide. However, the Philippines is on an upward trend.
“Sad to say, we are included among nine countries with over 25 percent new reported infections. It’s worrisome because the new infections that have been reported have come only in the last three years,” she said.
The other countries where HIV/AIDS is on the rise are Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Kaszakhstan, Kyrgystan, Republic of Moldova, Georgia, and Guinea-Bissau.
From 2008-2012, there was a 538 percent increase in new cases of HIV in the Philippines, according to the National Epidemiology Center of the Department of Health (DoH).
Bagasao said when the first infection was reported in 1984, HIV/AIDS was considered a slow and hidden disease. But since 2007 when one HIV case was reported every three days, the disease has been on a “fast and furious” rampage. Now, one HIV infection is reported every two hours or 30 cases a day.
According to a 2013 study of the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI), premarital sex among the youth rose to 32 percent from 18 percent in 1994. The study showed that in 2013, 6.2 million Filipino youth had premarital sex, and more than half of this number—4.8 million young people—indulged in unprotected sex.
Of the 6.2 million, 7.3 percent engaged in casual sex (one with no relationship or payment involved, and happened only once or twice), and 5.3 percent of males had sex with other males.
However, only 40 percent of these youth aged 15 to 24 are aware of sexually transmitted diseases. However, 80 percent are aware of HIV/AIDS.
“This means that the youth are not able to connect AIDS with sexually transmitted diseases,” UPPI Dean Joy Natividad said. She described the findings as “shocking” because these are youth who have graduated from high school and college but they do not understand STDs.
The study noted that unprotected sex could heighten the risk of pregnancy or acquiring sexually-transmitted diseases.
Infections among the youth, which comprise one-fourth of the total number of cases, increased tenfold in 2013, with 995 reported infections from 44 in 2006. The estimates exclude unreported cases.
Natividad said unprotected sex remains to be the main cause of HIV infection.
“There is a heightened, bolder and wider range of sexual behaviors including those that use the new high speed technology,” she pointed out.
She said the study also looked into how many people found sex partners from texting and the Internet and found that ways of interaction can lead to risky behavior among the youth, such as casual, regular, non-romantic same-gender and extramarital sexual experience.
Meanwhile, Jeffrey Acaba, co-convenor of the Network to Stop AIDS-Philippines (NSAP), said migrants, transgenders, homosexuals and other vulnerable sectors are also at high risk.
“The question is, how do we give them access to HIV testing?” he said.
He added that even if condoms are now sold openly, there is still a “social stigma” on the person purchasing them.
The alarming increase of HIV cases prompted lawmakers to call for the amendment of RA 8504 or the National AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998.
According to the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD), the law’s provisions “no longer respond to the current challenges of the concentrated HIV epidemic in the Philippines.”
Rep. Rodel Batocabe of Ako Bikol said despite advances in medical treatment, the DOH reported that people seek treatment when it is too late.
He said the proposed amendments seek to promote HIV testing of minors even without parental consent.
“It’s reality. No one tells their parent if they had sexual experience or if they have sexually transmitted disease or HIV. When parents got wind of it, they usually get angry. The child gets ostracized, stigmatized,” Batocabe said.
He proposed that minors aged 15 and above who may be infected with HIV should not ask for the consent of their parents before being tested. He said a compassionate approach in counseling and support should be given to the young HIV victims.
“Ito po ay significant change in the law in order for us to help and reach out to a population where incidence of HIV and AIDS is growing, and to have a compassionate approach to their treatment,” Batocabe said.
But this remains a contentious issue in Congress, and lawmakers have yet to iron out other issues such as whether the parents should be informed immediately of the HIV test results.
HIV testing costs at least P1,500 in private clinics and is free in public hospitals. The DoH is trying to improve testing by finding ways to quicken the process, thereby reducing the cost.
Batocabe said the government can shoulder the costs of HIV testing.
bonus link, courtesy of: philstar.com
MANILA, Philippines – More children and young people are getting infected with human immunodefiency virus (HIV), the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.
Data from the Epidemiology Bureau showed that the number of children and adolescents with HIV has sharply increased in the last five years.
Since 1984, 974 or three percent of the total HIV cases recorded were young adolescents or below 19 years of age, the DOH said. Of this number, eight percent or 80 were children.
The DOH said 86 percent of the total number of children and adolescents with HIV were recorded in the past five years.
Last October, a four-year-old child and 22 people aged 12 to 19 years were reported to the HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines.
A child and an adolescent were infected through mother-to-child transmission, but the rest got the virus through sexual transmission.
Majority of the children and adolescents with HIV were infected through sexual contact, health officials said.
They have also observed high HIV incidence among people engaging in transactional sex or those who accept payment for sex.
The DOH said 73 or 11 percent of the total cases recorded in October engaged in transactional sex. Their ages range from 16 to 61 years.
The number of HIV/AIDS cases in the Philippines continues to rise, even as this is on the decline in other countries, Health Secretary Janette Garin said.
“What is very glaring there is not only the increasing cases, but the profile of the HIV patients is becoming younger,” she said.
bonus link, courtesy of gmanetwork.com
Of the 748, 717 are males. Department of Health spokesman Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy said unprotected sex between males is the top mode of transmission.
An AIDS patient Mariz Umali interviewed asked the public to treat humanely those with AIDS and HIV.
He first had acute pneumonia in June 2012 and then just four months after, doctors said he developed full-blown AIDS. The AIDS patient said a support group has helped him cope with the disease and its impact on his life.