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Congressman says Filipinos infected with HIV-AIDS getting younger

A party-list congressman has expressed alarm over the latest HIV-AIDS data that show Filipinos infected by the sexually-transmitted disease are getting younger.

AANGAT TAYO party-list Rep. Harlin Neil Abayon III said in a statement on Sunday that 1,020 of the 3,290 HIV-AIDS cases are aged between 15 and 24.

He added that of the total HIV-AIDS cases, 1,653 belong to the 25 to 34 age group.

"The latest data on HIV AIDS of the Philippines is terrifying. The victims are getting younger and there are many young millennial men having sex with other men who contract HIV in the process," Abayon said.

Abayon also said that 10 children younger than 15 have also been diagnosed with HIV from January to April this year. He said the number is 16 percent of the 63 listed since January 2012 and eight percent of the 121 recorded since January 1984.

The congressman said the data underscores the need to educate the Filipino youth on sexual health.

He added that the government should include in its HIV-AIDS prevention campaign the education sector, the youth's workplaces and the barangays.

"We must train teachers and human resource department personnel, as well as deploy more barangay health workers with special training on HIV AIDS education and prevention to these places," he said.

Abayon said that HIV transmissions are recorded mostly in Metro Manila with 37 percent. Another 37 percent of the transmissions are recorded in Calabarzon, Central Visayas, and Central Luzon together and Western Visayas and the Davao region combine for eight percent.

He added that only 314 of the HIV cases are transmitted through paid sex. —ALG/KVD, GMA News

Tags: hiv-aids