By Allen Estabillo of Mindanews
GENERAL SANTOS City––Two graduating college students have been added to the growing list of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) carriers in this city.
Dr. Mely Lastimoso, coordinator of the City Integrated Health Services Office’s (Cihso) Social Hygiene Clinic, said yesterday the new HIV cases were found based on the results of the initial screening conducted by their office and confirmatory tests by the Department of Health in Manila.
She said they were detected from among local residents who have earlier signed up with the city government’s voluntary HIV testing program.
The two new cases of HIV, which causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids), has brought the total number of positive cases in the city to 62, she said.
Such number is seven more than 55 confirmed HIV cases in the city that were recorded by the Cihso as of the end of 2012.
With the confirmed HIV cases continually increasing since last year, Lastimoso urged residents, especially those who have had engaged in “risky sexual behavior,” to take part in the city’s voluntary HIV screening or testing program.
“Our goal is to identify our HIV patients at the early stage so they can immediately access our maintenance treatment. An early diagnosis is also a good prognosis because that means you can still prolong your life,” she said.