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Bawal ang Pasaway

INFOGRAPHIC: The state of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines

August 28, 2012 6:30pm

According to data from the Department of Health, the number of new cases of HIV being reported in the Philippines is rising steadily.

In an episode of the GMA News TV program "Bawal ang Pasaway" that aired on August 22, Prof. Winnie Monsod sat down with Wanggo Gallaga, an HIV-positive journalist for the Philippine Star, and Philip Castro from the United Nations Development Program to talk about the problem of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines. 

Persons who are infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) may eventually develop  AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), a life threatening disease characterized by a weakened immune system.

They agreed that the HIV has spread in the Philippines largely because of the lack of public education about the virus. Because sex is a taboo topic in Filipino culture, experts speculate that the actual number of HIV cases in the Philippines may actually be higher than reported because people are too ashamed or afraid to come forward about having the infection. Mareng Winnie encouraged people to be more responsible and honest with themselves, and to get tested if they can.

While in the past health experts were puzzled by the low rates of HIV infection in the Philippines, new cases of the virus have risen at an alarming rate in recent years.

See how we compare with the world and find out how to protect yourself:

Job de Leon/PF, GMA News

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