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One Filipino gets HIV every 90 minutes - AIDS council

August 29, 2013 1:06am
One Filipino becomes infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) every one and a half hours—an infection rate that has skyrocketed in the last few years, according to the Philippine National AIDS Council.

Three years ago, five HIV cases were recorded per day, council executive director Dr. Ferchito Avelino said in a "24 Oras" report on Wednesday.

"The Philippine HIV epidemic is no longer the usual low and slow prevalence. We're now experiencing a fast and furious type of epidemic wherein the epidemic is concentrated," he said.

According to the council, it has recorded 14,474 HIV cases since its registry started in 1984. In July, when 449 cases were reported, 95 percent were caused by male to male contact. Infection through injections or female sex workers made up the remainder, the council said.

The July number also trumps the 415 cases reported in May, which Health assistant secretary and spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag had earlier noted as "the highest monthly number of new HIV cases ever."

The National Capital Region, Cebu, Davao and Angeles City in Pampanga registered the most number of HIV cases.

In the report, United Nations Special Envoy for AIDS in the Asia and the Pacific J.V.R. Prasada Rao said that the Philippines is one of nine countries where the number of HIV cases have been increasing.

"I think the government needs to spend more resources in a focused way, not across-the-board, but focusing on key population," he said.

According to Rao, condoms were still the best means of protection from HIV infection.

The council said the Department of Health would need P1.2 billion to fund its HIV-AIDS program, the bulk of which would used for an information drive. Marc Jayson Cayabyab/BM/DVM, GMA News
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