TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol — As of the last count, Bohol has been in an alarming possibility of becoming a hot spot in watch for the continued rise of Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV).
This came after the regional office of Department of Health (DOH)-7 that Central Visayas now ranks second in the country.
Central Visayas used to be on the third spot as to the number of cases.
Of the four provinces in the region, Bohol ranks second to Cebu as to the number of infected persons. This excludes those who have not been monitored.
The record at the regional office of DOH-7 shows that as of the month of February, 646 new cases of HIV had been added in the country, marking a 33-percent increase compared to the record in the same period last year.
This could be the highest number of HIV cases reported since 1984 wherein 62 already died of complication from AIDS in Central Visayas, most of them male.
Cebu tops the number of cases in Central Visayas, having 67 persons living with AIDS while 1,872 have been found positive of HIV.
Bohol ranks second where there are 58 persons infected with HIV.
Provincial health officer, Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot, warned that until now, there is no cure for HIV-AIDS and it is better to prevent getting infected.
Cabagnot advised the public to avoid promiscuity or be protected by using condom.
Dr. Cabagnot also warned of freelancer commercial sex workers whose activities can barely be monitored.
The provincial heath officer said the continued increase of the HIV cases has been alarming wherein 67 already died from complication of AIDS in Central Visayas.
He reiterated the advise that HIV can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, use of contaminated needles among injectable drug users, and transfusion of contaminated blood.
In the case of Bohol, Cabagnot believes sexual intercourse had been the main mode of transmission of HIV.
All the officials can do is intensify the information campaign and awareness drive, according to the provincial heath officer.
Meanwhile, the DOH-7 conducted a mobile voluntary counseling and free HIV tests at the Provincial Health Office conducts, like what has been done in Cebu.
Cabagnot said the government allocated a considerable amount for the mobile voluntary counseling and free testing for HIV.
It was in line with the National HIV Testing Week as declared by DOH in the first week of May.
Tourist destinations have been prioritized in the mobile voluntary counseling and free testing for HIV.