A baby in General Santos City is set to undergo human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test after her mother tested positive for the virus.

According to the City Health Office (CHO), the mother was seven months into her pregnancy when she learned that she was carrying the virus.

Now that her baby is already two months old, the child will be made to undergo the HIV test. However, authorities said just because the mother is a carrier of the virus doesn’t mean the child has also be infected.

“Dili na siya automatic. Provided nga ang mother before pa manganak, nakasugod na siya og antiretroviral therapy,” CHO Social Hygiene Clinic Nurse Mary Rose Ann Aloot said.

From 2023 to February 28, 2024, at least 127 of the 5,205 residents of General Santos who underwent the test were found carrying the virus. Majority of those who tested positive are men who had sex with other men. 

“Naay other nga females having sex with males pero majority gyud ani is mga male having sex with male,” Aloot said.

The CHO also advised those who have risky sexual behaviors to take advantage of the free HIV test. The office assured that the results will be confidential. 

“Mga practices like unprotected penetrative sex and kung sakali naman na-expose ka sa infected blood and blood products ang pinaka-common niyan is mga healthcare workers na mga blood splashes, needle prick, magpa-check. Ina-assure namin sa ating mga clients na ang confidentiality is ma-maintain, walang lalabas na pangalan kung ano yung napag-uusapan between counseling and testing it’s between the client and the facility alone,” Aloot said.

The active case finding activity of the CHO also extends to barangays and establishments to provide retroviral drugs for those who are reactive.