AIDS Victim Sarah Jane Passes Away

By Atencio, Joel | Manila Bulletin, June 12, 2000 | Go to article overview

AIDS Victim Sarah Jane Passes Away


Atencio, Joel, Manila Bulletin


Filipina AIDS victim Sarah Jane Salazar died at 11:30 a.m. yesterday, Health Secretary Alberto Romualdez reported.

Romualdez said Salazar was the first Filipino to have publicly admitted having contracted the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Salazar, 25, died of multiple viral, fungal and bacterial infections after her defenses were ravaged by AIDS, Romualdez said. She died at the San Lazaro Hospital (SLH) in Manila. She is likely to be cremated. A movie about her life was made for her a couple of years ago.

"The Department of Health (DOH) is sad of her passing. We consider her as one of the heroines at efforts to curb AIDS," Romualdez said.

Salazar, reportedly a former sex worker, has been helping the government in its AIDS campaign since 1991.

Last year, Salazar was transferred to a National Mental Hospital in Mandaluyong City after suffering psychological problems and was taken to the SLH on Friday after her condition worsened, Romualdez said.

DOH figures showed there are 1,336 reported cases in the Philippines of people infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, and 441 patients with full-blown AIDS. About 203 people have died in the Philippines due to AIDS since the first reported case in 1984.

DOH officials said that last year, there were some 35,000 (estimated) people infected with HIV. That figure is projected to rise to 45,000 this year.

A report by the Philippines News Agency (PNA) said Salazar died hours after Pasay City Councilor Justo Justo visited her.

"The sight of the dying Sarah Jane was heartbreaking," Justo said minutes after Salazar's demise was announced. She turned comatose when she was brought to SLH last Thrusday.

* * *

A Pasay City councilor vowed to help more victims of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) following the death of AIDS victim Sarah Jane Salazar yesterday.

Pasay city councilor Justo Justo said that he would be more supportive to those who would be identified as carrier of the disease.

Salazar was declared dead at around 10:00 o'clock yesterday morning by her attending medical attendants in San Lazaro General Hospital.

Councilor Justo served as the poster parent of Sarah Jane when the latter was found to be positive of AIDS and while still confined in the hospital for medical treatment.

Sarah Jane left her daughter Lyka, 4 years old and son Ritchie, 2 years old. The two minors are now living under the supervision of Councilor Justo Justo.

The dead body of Sarah Jane, hospital official said, would be burned to avoid spread of the contamination of bacteria that caused the disease.

Sarah Jane appeared to be too thin-skinned and suffered hard before she-died in the hospital.

Sarah was first found to be a carrier of AIDS in Pasay City when she worked as a club entertainer from different bars and night clubs in the city in the early 90's.

She was only a teenage girl from the province and tried her luck in Manila. But to no avail, she landed as a night worker in Pasay City.

She had her movie to depict the life of an AIDS victim.

Medical reports showed the Sarah got her AIDS from a foreigner customer whom she could no longer identify.

Cause oriented groups that gives protection for women had pledge their sympathy with Sarah Jane's death. (James I. Catapusan)

Philippine anti-AIDS campaigner dies

MANILA (AP) - A former bar girl who was the first Filipino to publicly acknowledge having AIDS died yesterday of complications from the disease, officials said. …

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