Philippines continues to see high incidents of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hence its inclusion in the nine countries that have failed to curb the spread of the virus, a United Nations (UN) study reveals.
In its latest report, UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) said the PH incidence rate of HIV infection among adults aged 15–49 years old from 2001–2011 has been increasing by 25 percent.
“Epidemiological trends are less favourable in several other countries. In at least nine countries, the number of people newly infected in 2011 was at least 25 percent higher than in 2001,” the report said.
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Other countries that showed a 25-percent increase rate on HIV incidence include Bangladesh, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Krygyztan, Republic of Moldova, and Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, UNAIDS reported HIV incidence has stabilized in Angola, Belarus, Benin, Congo, France, Gambia, Lesotho, Nigeria, Tajikistan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, and the United States.
It noted that the number of people infected with HIV has decreased by 26 to 49 percent in Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Mozambique, Niger, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, as well as Trinidad and Tobago.
UNAIDS emphasized significant decrease by more than 50 percent in HIV incidence has occurred in 25 countries particularly in Africa, the region most affected by the virus.
It includes Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Dominican Republic , Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Haiti, India, Malawi, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Suriname, Thailand, Togo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Department of Health (DOH) assistant secretary Eric Tayag confirmed the total number of persons infected with HIV in the country has already reached 21, 837.
“It is really a growing concern, especially since more and more young people are getting infected,” Tayag said in a forum at the House of Representatives on Wednesday morning.
In a separate report, DOH’s National Epidemiology Center revealed there had been 316 new HIV positive individuals in the country as of last month.
“This is 25 percent higher compared to the same period last year with only 253 cases in 2011,” the report said.
The center noted that 96 percent of infected individuals were males with 54 percent of reported cases coming from Metro Manila.
Of the 316 HIV positive, 10 were reported as AIDS cases while 42 of the individuals were working as Filipino workers abroad.