Ilocos Sur exec seeks more nurturing environment for HIV-AIDS victims

By Imelda C. Rivero, PIA 1, Ilocos Sur

VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur, – Pushing away people afflicted with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) will only inflict more physical and emotional scar to victims that could possibly lead to more HIV-AIDS victims, board member Jeremias Singson said during the World AIDS Day earlier this month.

Singson, chair of the board’s committee on health, spoke before 300 students, government employees during the event.

“If HIV-AIDS cases are not reported, people suffering from these diseases will be in pain physically and emotionally because they are left alone, without proper care and treatment from health personnel,” he said.

He added: “There is also the possibility that they will infect other residents and add to the existing 12 reported cases in the province.”

Singson said the campaign theme “Getting to Zero” means working together to come out with zero new cases, zero new infections, and zero discrimination.

Dr. Carmeliza Singson, of the provincial health office, said once the HIV virus enters the body, it lowers the body’s defense agains infection and its ability to fight diseases.

She said HIV-AIDS infection has no cure but it can be prevented by abstinence from sex, being faithful to a husband or wife, no borrowing of used syringes, needles used in drugs, tattoo, and circumcision and through education and information.

Dr. Benito Arca, former assistant regional director of the Department of Health in Region 1, said exposure to HIV-AIDS is caused primarily by unprotected sex with someone who is HIV-positive.

Arca, now the provincial government’s health consultant, said the virus can also be transferred through blood transfusion with infected blood, borrowing syringes, needles in using drugs, tattoo, and circumcision.

“An infected mother can transfer the disease to her unborn baby and during breastfeeding,” he said.

He added a common misconception is that HIV-AIDS can be transfered during kissing, shaking of hands, living with infected persons, sharing spoon, forks, drinking glasses and through mosquitoes and bed bugs.

“HIV is transferred only through the blood, semen, vaginal and cervical fluids and mother’s milk,” he said. #