12-year-old from Davao Region subjected to HIV test

A mother has taken a 12-year-old child from Davao Region  yo undergo Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) testing—a rare case of parent-enforced voluntary testing.

Dr. Cleo Fe Tabada, medical officer Local Health Support Division of the Department of Health 11 (DOH 11) explained they are not allowed to give details on the identity of the child.

“We have recorded a 12-year-old kasi binitbit ng nanay. But we cannot say na yun ang youngest. Makikita natin sa streets na may mga batang nagbebenta na ng katawan,” Tabada said.

Tabada explained that they were able to test the child with the consent of the parent. She added that in the Philippines only 15-year-old and above can be tested without consent but below it needs parental consent.

” In the Philippines hindi puwedeng i-test lahat ang puwede i-test without consent is 15-year-old and below that akay- akay ang tatay  or nanay. Medyo challenging yun. Ang 15-year-old ang puwede namin i-test openly,” she said.

Tabada also said looking at the trend of HIV there is nothing new. She said Davao Region remains in Top 7 when it comes to ranking.

” We ranked 3rd or 4th, pinakababa natin 5th  at hindi tayo nawawala sa top 7. Several years ago nakikita natin pataas siya ng pataas ganon pa rin. Hindi siya bumababa significantly. Kung sa trend ng report ng pagkakaroon ng inpeksyon, walang bago. With AIDS lahat ay vulnerable for as long as we are exposed to the blood that has the virus,” she said.

Tabada said what makes the cases more manageable is more and more patients now undergo HIV testing.

“Nagpapatest na sila kaya nare-report na ang mga pasyente. Kung update on the enhanced delivery meron tayo kasi mas marami na tayong service areas. Nare-record na ang mga pasyente dahil nagpapatest na sila and avail the enhanced service delivery. Mas aware na ang health workers and the people where to go na hindi sila mapapahiya, ” she said.

Tabada added that there are hospitals now that are giving  HIV or AIDS management services.

” At upgraded na rin ang capacity nila. May mga laboratories na rin na nagte-test ng HIV and the hospitals in the provinces are already oriented on what to do to HIV patients. Previously pag may mga kaso outside Davao City mahirap to manage kasi walang services, ” she said.