TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Aug. 13 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) region 2 has organized community-based groups to be service providers and counselors for people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Mikhail Taggueg, coordinator and counselor, said the groups are composed of nurses, midwives, health workers and the LGBTQ members who are also trained not only in providing counselling but also in conducting HIV screening in the community.
"They can already screen a person who is willing to undergo test but the result will be submitted to our treatment centers for confirmation. This is our way to encourage people to submit themselves for blood screening," Taggueg said.
He explained that the groups who are in the grounds could be easily approached by people living with HIV but there are also health facilities as alternatives for those who want to go directly to experts for consultations.
Taggueg said their thrusts are to mandate all government hospitals to be treatment hubs for HIV and the rural health units (RHUs) to establish social hygiene clinics.
As of the moment, there were already established three treatments hubs to include Cagayan Valley Medical Center, Veterans Regional Hospital and the City Health Office of Santiago while there were already more than 20 social hygiene clinics all over the region wherein mostly are in the RHUs and private hospitals.
Taggueg is optimistic that the stigma and misconceptions on people living with HIV will gradually be removed.
"Please help us educate people that HIV/AIDS is not an airborne disease. It can only be transferred through unprotected sex. If only they will submit themselves for treatment, it can be treated and prolong their lives," Taggueg said.
Since 1984 to March 2019, there were already 813 HIV recorded cases in the Cagayan Valley region. (MDCT/OTB/PIA 2-Cagayan)