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PIA Press Release

HIV-AIDS can be prevented, says Davao health office

By Rose B. Palacio

Davao City (5 December) -- City Health Officer Dr. Josephine Villafuerte said HIV-AIDs can be prevented and people should be aware that the AIDs pandemic essentially stem from behavioral consideration.

Dr. Villafuerte said in an interview during the World AIDS Day (Dec 1st) celebration with this year's theme as: "Stop AIDS; Keep the Promist."

If people do not behave in healthy and safe manner then we may have problems with HIV AIDs in the future, she said.

She warned the citizenry on the danger of getting AIDS and to take interest to protect themselves, their families, relatives, friends and the community in general.

HIV infections will just keep on rising if the government does nothing about the virus that contributes greatly to the spread of AIDs or acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

She called on other NGOs to help the government in disseminating correct information on HIV AIDs so the people especially the young, would understand and l be able to prevent it.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that more than 30 million people worldwide are living with HIV and that more than 40 percent of this number are women.

The WHO report gained added credence in view of the findings of the World Bank that the low social and economic status of women effectively draws them to situations in which they are unable to choose behavior that will protect them from HIV.

In a policy research report titled "Confronting AIDS, Public Priorities in a Global Epidemic, the World Bank said this problem is most prevalent in societies where women's inheritance rights, literacy rate and economic resources are limited.

HIV AIDs places an additional strain to the country's already limited health care system. With the changing socio-economic environment, even children will be vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection, the WB report said.

While DOH and City Health Office are tasked to handle issues important to public health, it cannot handle HIV-AIDs issues alone.

We need the support of the people, Dr. Villafuerte said to draw up behavioral change strategies by jointly seeking solutions to this pandemic health problem. (PIA-XI) [top]

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