Dr. Gambalan says men having sex with men are prone to HIV/AIDS

LAOAG CITY, May 22 (PIA) – The Provincial Health Office (PHO) will organize a health forum to bring into the fore the rising cases on Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in the province.

Dr. Artemio Gambalan, PHO officer-in-charge, said a HIV and AIDS Congress is in the works to make the public aware of the need to prevent the spread of the disease.

Gambalan said the public should be vigilant in their activities noting that the highly-infectious disease can also be acquired other than sexual contact.

“There’s a need to control their activities and prevent its spread. There are at least three ways how HIV and AIDS are transmitted. These may be through blood transfusion, placenta or sexual contact,” Gambalan said.

“The first two (blood transfusion and placenta) are easy to monitor but the last one (sexual contact) is hard. So, we really have to be vigilant as most of the affected are those MSM or men having sex with men,” he added.

The PHO reported that at least three cases of AIDS and 22 suspected cases of HIV have been recorded in the entire province of Ilocos Norte.

Based on the DOH’s report, the three suspected AIDS cases were in Batac City, Paoay, and Pasuquin towns while the 22 HIV cases were reportedly traced in Laoag City and Batac City and the towns of Sarrat, Solsona, Bacarra, Dingras and Marcos.

The PHO is now in the process of monitoring the positive cases while conducting surveillance operation.

Laoag City Health Officer Dr. Renato Mateo said that Laoag City has been strictly monitoring the suspected carriers for the protection of the public. The city has also set up a hygiene clinic for a surveillance operation.

As part of the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) targets to control infectious diseases, Gambalan said that a random testing for HIV/AIDS will be conducted in the province. (CHERRY JOY D. GARMA)