Bulacan has highest HIV cases in Central Luzon
CITY OF MALOLOS – Bulacan has treated 2,270 patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as of May since 1984, the highest HIV prevalence recorded in Central Luzon, according to experts at the first Bulacan Federation Summit of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community held here on Friday (Sept. 14).
Most of the patients are 25 to 34 years old gay men, said Ronchie Santos, a nurse who serves as hub manager of the Luntiang Silong HIV Unit of the Bulacan Medical Center here. Only 5 percent (113) of infected are women.
The City of San Jose Del Monte has the highest HIV population with 257, followed by Meycauayan town with 123 cases and Malolos with 115 cases. Each of the towns of Sta. Maria and Marilao have 102 patients.
Because of the rate of infection, the Bulacan government has provided them free medication, and continued health care, said Gov. Daniel Fernando. He also encouraged the gay and transgender community to put up cooperatives.
Luntiang Silong is currently treating or handling the therapies of 350 HIV patients, Santos said, while undertaking HIV awareness programs around schools, offices and factories, or through social media.
Bulacan’s LGBT community is composed of businessmen, academic leaders and public officials.
Ren Eusebio, president of LGBTQ+ Federation of Bulacan, is also pushing for a Home for the Elderly LGBTQ+ in Donya Remedios Trinidad (DRT) town. Eusebio works for the Bocaue municipal tourism office.
The summit was part of this year’s Singkaban Festival, a celebration of Bulacan’s culture and historic legacy which concludes on Sunday (Sept. 15). /jpv