MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Many Filipinos are panicking because of viral posts on Social media — including Messenger — warning them about eating fish from the sea because they might get infected with the Human Immunodefiency Virus (HIV) which causes AIDS.
The posts and messages indicated that tubes from hospitals contaminated with HIV have been thrown into the water mostly in the Visayas and Mindanao which, in turn, contaminated the fish. The same posts said that hundreds have already died because they ate HIV-contaminated fish.
As a public service, The Adobo Chronicles is publishing these guidelines on how you can protect yourself from HIV-infected tilapia or any other fish from the sea:
- Do not have unprotected sex with tilapia and other fish. Use condoms all the time. You never know which fish has or doesn’t have HIV.
- Avoid engaging in injection drug use. If you must because you are already addicted, make sure never to share needles with fish.
- Although blood transfusions are 99.9% safe because the country’s blood supply is routinely screened for HIV and other blood-borne diseases, make sure the blood you are receiving is not fish blood. You never know.
- It is good to know your HIV status. Go to the nearest clinic and get your HIV blood test. Discuss with your HIV test counselor your past behaviour which may put you at risk for HIV infection — especially if you have been eating tilapia and other fish in the last six months.