‘Observe ABCs of safe sex’

BY JONEL AMIO

February 14, 2018

ILOILO City – Abstinence. Being loyal to one’s partner. Correct and consistent use of condom.

These are effective ways to avoid contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), according to the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) Iloilo Chapter.

Indi kita agad-agad makikipag-engage if ever ang aton nga partner wants to [have] sex. Hibaluon ta anay ang sexual record or history sang aton nga partner,” FPOP HIV counselorMaharane Magbo-o told Panay News yesterday.

He added, “Kung wala ka partner, abstain from sex. Kung may ara, be loyal and monogamous to your partner. Kung hindi kita siguardo sang [history] sang aton partner, dira masulod ang correct and consistent use of condom.”

According to the World Health Organization, the condom – when used properly – can prevent one from getting sexually transmitted infections up to 80 percent or higher.

Kun insakto ang paggamit mo sang condom, it can 80 to 90 percent prevent [you from getting] STIs,” said Magbo-o.

The Department of Health (DOH) recorded 559 cases of HIV and AIDS in Western Visayas from January to October last year.

Out of this number, 263 were from Iloilo, 165 were from Negros Occidental, 42 from Aklan, 38 from Capiz, and 37 from Antique.

No HIV and AIDS cases were recorded in Guimaras during the period.

According to DOH, HIV and AIDS were mostly transmitted among people aged 25 to 34 years old with 285 cases, followed by 15- to 24-year-olds with 181 cases.

Records further showed that HIV and AIDS from January to October last year were mostly transmitted through male-to-male sex with 322 cases.

It was followed by sex with both male and female with 165 cases and heterosexual sex with 70 cases.

The means of transmission of two HIV and AIDS cases during the period were unknown, the records showed.

From 1984 to October last year, there are already 2,151 cases of HIV and AIDS in the region.

Vince Misterio, also an HIV counselor at the FPOP, said this month they are taking measures to effectively reach out to the youth who are at risk of getting infected with HIV or AIDS.

“Most of the cases na infected sang HIV and AIDS ara sa mga pamatan-on. Mostly nakitamo sila sang mga group clans and GCs (Facebook group chats),” Misterio said.

He added that the FPOP will tap these group clans and GCs through their “clan leaders” to easily disseminate information on HIV and AIDS awareness./PN