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'ABCDE’ vital in fight against HIV-AIDS

SAN JOSE, Antique (PIA) -- The Provincial Health Office (PHO) here urges the public to contribute to the global fight against Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

HIV, typically acquired through sex, is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system and if left untreated can lead to AIDS and can render infected individuals prone to other aggressive diseases.

In an interview, PHO Health Education and Promotion Officer Irene R. Duldoco said that while HIV-AIDS is infectious, there are ways to avoid it and prevent its spread.

“ABCDE” is an acronym used by health authorities in reminding the public of the means to be protected from HIV-ADS.

The A in the “ABCDE” scheme stands for “abstinence” or non-engagement in sexual activities before marriage, B for “being mutually faithful to partners,” C for “careful sex” or the correct and consistent condom use, D for

“avoiding drugs and drinks that compromise decision-making,” and E for “education, early detection, and treatment.”

She also noted that people with risky behaviors, such as having multiple sexual partners or engaging in unprotected sex, should be more cautious and must get themselves tested for HIV as early detection and treatment saves lives.

Although there are no current medical treatments or vaccines for stopping HIV and AIDS, Anti-Retroviral (ARV) drugs are available and can be availed for free from public health facilities.

ARV drugs are known to have reduced deaths and illnesses, prolonged lives, and improved the quality of life of persons living with HIV (PLHIV).

HIV can be transmitted through body fluids such as blood, semen, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and even breastmilk obtained from sexual activities, blood transfusion, injection drug use, and pregnancy – not through sneezing, coughing, or kissing which is a misconception.

The official reiterated that HIV myths and misconceptions must be cleared to eradicate the stigma and discrimination against PLHIV, urging the public not to have disgust, fear, or hatred towards infected individuals.

In Antique, 48 cases of HIV have been recorded from January to September 2022, with the 25-34 age group having the greatest prevalence of infection. (AAL/BPS/PIA Antique/Courtesy: Department of Health & Philippine National AIDS Council)

About the Author

Bernard Ceasar Susbilla

Information Officer I

Region 6

Electronics Engineer/Writer

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