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Growth of HIV cases fastest in PH – report

October 22, 2019

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases worldwide grew the fastest in the Philippines based on logged data from 2010 to 2018.

Doctor Louie Ocampo and Thai transwoman Rena Janamnuaysook of the Thai Red Cross Research Center talk about the status of HIV and AIDS in the Philippines and in Thailand during the #WazzIn conference held at the Manila Doctors Hospital on Monday, October 21, 2019. PHOTOS BY ENRIQUE AGCAOILI

Dr. Louie Ocampo of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAids) on Monday cited reports that the country recorded 1.7 million new cases last year, adding to the 37.9 million people already living with HIV by the end of 2018.

He noted that compared to the rest of the Asia Pacific, the Philippines only had a 14-percent decline in new infections.

“That translates to 280,000 new infections, considering that we targeted [only] 90,000 new infections by the end of 2020. So, we need to decrease [the number of] infections by the end of 2020,” Ocampo said.

He added that “thinking outside the box” should be adopted to achieve this goal by 2020.

The goal to treat HIV infection is in accordance with UNAids 90-90-90: treating 30 million people, letting people living with HIV to know their status and receiving antiretroviral therapy.

Ocampo said it was hard to achieve the 90-90-90 target because of the low number of people who get tested.

He added that among the 37.9 million currently living with HIV, only 75 percent were aware of their status, while only 3 out of 5 infected persons were receiving the antiretroviral therapy.

For 2019, the UNAids data estimated that 77,000 people would be living with HIV, with 4,800 of them women and with 13,400 new cases of infection.

It also expected that 33,593 will be living with the virus, with an accumulated death of 1,200 people despite the fact, according to Ocampo, that “we have [a] very effective treatment [regimen]” against the disease.

The data also showed that Metro Manila had the highest number of HIV positive people at 39 percent, followed by Region 4A at 15 percent.

“We need to focus and scale up our HIV response for us to have a better impact in terms of accomplishment,” Ocampo said.

The data presented also showed that 80 percent of the HIV diagnosed deaths in the country were in the 15 to 34 age group.

Low usage of protection such as condoms (27 percent) is seen as one of the biggest factors for an increase of HIV cases among the youth.

Ocampo said adolescents as young as 15 years old engaged in unprotected sex and only used condoms by the age of 18.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net


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