COMMENTARY: That one AIDS case in Tagum

May 12-18, 2011

That  there is one person with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) reported to be in Tagum was a scarce revelation of Davao Regional Hospital honcho and now Dept. of Health assistant secretary (asec) Dr. Romulo Busuego. The good doctor did not fully bare about that case, and from where we sit – he seemingly has not fully gone pursuing that case being an asec now.

We know that when Dr. Busuego was appointed as DOH asec by President PNoy late last year he has gone visiting places nay hospitals in Visayas and Mindanao, the reason that he bared that of all places in the country Cebu has the highest AIDS cases reported to the DOH. Now as an asec who hails from the premier city of Tagum and as the DRH chief of hospital still we feel that he must pursue that “one AIDS case in Tagum” and know despite the absence of mass screening of blood of Tagum citizens where did that person with AIDS hang out and frequent when he/she was/is in the city? Did he or she make sexual contact when he/she was/is here? Is he/she still alive and kicking? Did he/she infect someone here? Where is he/she now?

Obviously, when Dr. Busuego met for the first time the Tagum press after he had become the DOH asec he was not prepared to answer about that “one AIDS case in Tagum.” But he did confirm already about the case whose record is now in the regional office of DOH. He warded off further questions from the local media about that “one AIDS case in Tagum”saying that the matter is supposed to be “confidential”.

Maybe because there is still no alarum health notice about loitering persons with  AIDS from any of the rural health units in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley that R & R- bound males can still safely hang and sing around in modern-day cabarets and feel safe when the going gets all happy and heavenly to buy in the flesh trade of the blue-card bearers which has since flourished when the night videokehans emerged to be popular and noisy in our palengkes. But the question is, has the health department most represented now in Visayas and Mindanao by Dr. Busuego been conducting a regular, at least a weekly check up of the girls and ladies working in the vidokehans and in other flesh trade houses? Is the blue card system fully enforced? It’s asked like the way the dukirok males would ask the bar girls and ladies, “Do you have a blue card before I bring you out and give the bar fine?” Good for that, but the usually cash-rich drunks  never second think for their wives and families and contamination when they’re fired up below by satanic sexual urge during their merry-making at the videokehans. 

Certainly, we need not be the one reminding Dr. Busuego that the AIDS problem in the country has been silently creeping in to the provinces and that AIDS cases have been rising up in alarming rate in our country.  As a DOH asec now, we feel, that he must pursue that “one AIDS case in Tagum”, make deeper probe to tell the local public on the real score of the AIDS problem in our vicinity. It is not a matter of confidentiality as just revealing it could send healthy advisory that after all the best safe sex is still carried within the wedlock bound by fidelity. Foremost, it challenges and reminds local health authorities to better check the videokehans and flesh trade establishments now before the problem gets too itchy and out of proportion.(Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)



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