By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Health personnel in General Santos City, in South Cotabato province in the southern Philippines are expressing concern over the increasing number of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) cases among younger individuals.
City Health Office HIV nurse and counselor, Zyrnx John Octavio said “Our cases are getting younger and this is really a concern for us right now”.
While the youngest in the city with HIV is 16, most of these cases involved individuals aged 22 to 25-years-old who were engaged in “risky sexual behaviors.”
In 2020, 30 individuals came out positive for HIV, while since January this year, 88 new cases have been reported, with 27 detected last July alone.
Citing their assessment, Octavio said among factors influencing the spread of HIV/AIDS is the “easy access” by young people to social media, including dating applications.
Another is the lack of awareness among young people on various sexual risks and the practice of safe sex, he said.
Octavio urged concerned residents to get tested so they can be aware of their status and get early treatment through ART in case they turn out positive.