ZAMBOANGA CITY – The death of a 2-year-old boy here due to the immunodeficiency syndrome acquired by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV / AIDS) alarmed local health officials because it meant that the disease had already entered the general population.
The child who received the virus from one of the parents was already classified as a person living with HIV / AIDS.
"It's alarming because it means that HIV / AIDS is no longer in a typical sexually transmitted mode, but it has already affected the general population," said Dr. Kibtiya Uddin, assistant city health official.
"We have pregnant mothers and children under the age of 15 now identified as people living with HIV / AIDS," he said.
By "general population", Uddin meant that all parts of the population, regardless of gender and age, were already affected, he said. She added, however, that 99 percent of the cause of HIV / AIDS transmission was still through sexual activity.
The HIV registry of the city's health office showed that there were two pregnant mothers, classified as people living with HIV / AIDS and two children over 6 and 7 years of age who were affected. The other two cases are still being verified.
The two infected children got their mum's virus.
"We do not know the nutritional status of these two children but now we are looking at it. We will try to do something to prolong their lives," said Uddin.
The number of HIV / AIDS cases in the city of Zamboanga increased to 433 since 1995. Of this total, 69 patients died. Seventeen died in 2017, the highest in a single year.
Uddin also cited the alarming increase in the number of cases between children and adolescents. She has observed 134 cases among young people, aged 15 to 24.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to access The Philippine Daily Inquirer and 70 other titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to news, download at 4 o'clock and share articles on social networks. Call 896 6000.