Sexually transmitted infections rising in Cotabato City

March 10, 2015 4:16 am 

COTABATO CITY, March 9 — The Department of Health in Region 12 on Monday said Cotabato City has the highest number of reported reported sexually transmitted infections (STI) among the cities and provinces of SOCCKSARGEN region in 2014.

This was confirmed by the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the Department of Health in Region 12 (DOH 12).

However, Dr. Teogenes Baluma, DOH 12 regional director, was quick to clarify that the data does not mean that the infection couriers were from Cotabato City.

"It is highly likely that most of the couriers only had their infections diagnosed and treated in the city’s various hospitals and clinics, but are actually from neighboring municipalities and provinces," the RESU-12 said in a statement.

The RESU, in a statement, said STIs are spread from person to person through intimate sexual contact and also through blood transfusion. These infections are dangerous because they easily spread and hard to diagnose because sometimes there is no symptom at all.

The prevalence of sexually transmitted infections is a cause for concern due to its co-morbidity with HIV, RESU said.

There were 5,231 individuals found positive for STI in region 12 last year.

Fifty five (55) percent of this were reported from Cotabato City followed by General Santos City with 14 percent, North Cotabato with 12 percent, Sultan Kudarat with 11 percent, and South Cotabato with 5 percent.

The data was taken from January 1 to December 31, 2014.Age range of the identified STI couriers is from 1 to 86 years old and the median age is 27. More than half of the cases were female. No death was reported.

Fifty two percent or 5,231 were Hepatitis B infections, 36 percent, Syphilis, and 12 percent were Gonorrhea infections.

Of the 5,321 Hepatitis B cases, 1,271 were reported from Cotabato City. This was higher than cases reported in General Santos (660), North Cotabato (423), Sultan Kudarat (154), and Sarangani (49). More than half of the cases were female.

Hepatitis B is a disease caused by the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), which is transmitted through unprotected sex, sharing needles from a drug user, and mother to child.

Cotabato City also recorded the highest cases of syphilis in the region at 1,614.

RESU also reported that only 33 cases of Gonorrhea infections were recorded in the city for 2014. (PNA)



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