The Puerto Princesa Gay Association has raised concern over the reported increase of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) cases in the city, mostly involving male-to-male relationships.
“Nakakatakot talaga lalo na isa tayo sa may mataas na record nasa 168 na sila, kaya ‘yung mga bakla natin sinasabihan ko talaga na mag-ingat masyadong mataas ang cases,” Association President Joey Odtohan told Palawan News.
He said that in their association there are three individuals who are positive and he encourages them to medicate not only for their sake but also for those innocent who are vulnerable and have chances to catch the disease.
“Sa grupo namin, tatlo talaga ‘yan sila mayroon. Sinasabihan ko sila na magpagamot, hind ko alam kung ano na ginagawa nila kasi ang sa akin dapat kung nafi-feel mo na mayroon kang ganoon dapat magpagamot ka, huwag kang matakot kasi mas nakakatakot kung makahawa ka ng mga inosente,” he said.
He also said that People Living with HIV (PLHIV) are vulnerable, that he himself reaches out to help them.
“May isa akong alaga sa PPC gay association, inampon ko, pinatira ko sa bahay kasi nga kawawa din sila pero dapat sila alamin nila parati ang status nila, at dapat tulungan natin sila na ‘yung disease na ito dapat na matigil,” said Odtohan.
Odtohan also called the attention of members of the LGBT community who are prone to HIV to be more aware and educate themselves on ‘safe sex’.
“Kami kasi partner kami ng City Health eh, payo ko lang, huwag matakot na magpa-test, mas matakot ka kung malaman mo kung mamatay ka na,” said Odtohan.
Odtohan said that people should not discriminate those who have HIV and instead should help them live a ‘normal life.’