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Over 32,000 HIV/AIDS cases seen by year end

The number of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the Philippines is projected to hit 32,379 by the end of 2014, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

During the Senate inquiry on six bills that will strengthen policies on HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment, DOH Assistant Secretary Enrique Tayag said the reported HIV cases have reached 19,330 since 1984 when the first Filipino HIV case was confirmed by the DOH.

“The new HIV cases have actually increased by 532 percent from 2008 to 2013 and for January to June this year alone, the total reported cases hit 2,814,” Tayag told the Senate committee on health and demography chaired by Sen. Pia Cayetano.

Tayag said out of the 19,330 reported cases from 1984 to June, 2014, a total of 1,766 are AIDS cases.

He said the number of persons who do not voluntarily undergo testing for HIV infection is included in the projected number of persons with HIV by the end of this year.

Based on data presented by Tayag, the populations at risk to HIV infection are people who inject drugs (PWID), particularly in Cebu where HIV prevalence has increased from 0.40 percent in 2007 to alarming 52.30 percent in 2013.

“HIV prevalence also increased from 0.30 to 3.50 percent among the males who have sex with males, followed by freelance female sex workers and female sex workers in registered entertainment establishments,” he said.

To minimize the spread of HIV infection, Tayag said the DOH has listed 75 priority areas for HIV intervention, including 53 in the Luzon led by Angeles City and Caloocan; 12 in Visayas including Cebu City; and nine in Mindanao particularly in Davao City.

Tayag said the DOH has proposed P308 million budget, including P11 million for the purchase of condoms, for 2015.

”There are 11,384 projected persons living with HIV who will be needing Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) by 2015,” Tayag said.

Under Senate Bill 1217, Sen. Grace Poe proposed the removal of the HIV and AIDS legal framework that conflicts with laws recently enacted, “thus restricting actions that are crucial to halt the spread of the epidemic.”

Poe also proposed the establishment of a National HIV and AIDS Plan, and strengthening of the stigma reduction mechanisms of the present law — Republic Act 8504 otherwise known as “The Philippine Aids Prevention and Control Act of 1998.”

In his own Senate Bill 879, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada proposed the counseling and testing of pregnant women and newborn infants for HIV infection.

On the other hand, Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito proposed in his Senate Bill 1100 an effective information-dissemination, counseling and education to protect the citizens from deadly AIDS.

  • Gisingbayanko

    It’s all about understanding about the dichotomous nature of man, specially for those who are in influential (gov’t, religious groups, academe, world organizations) positions; and who have direct impact on AIDS/HIV prevention.

    Science has proven that every human being has 2 brains, similar in bio-chemical composition and function, namely cerebral brain and “gut” brain located under our belly button.
    The gut brain is similar to what animals have to perpetuate its specie, libido, to protect, provide and take care of its young; and its emotional state is determined by hunger, good physical heath, flight from danger and freedom from hunger and diseases.
    The state of our emotional health according to medical science is determined by our gut brain which transmit to our cerebral brain the overall physical and emotional condition of the human body.
    So if your belly feels good, you feel good and vice versa. Depending on our age, the inputs from the gut brain can become more dominant than the cerebral brain, seat of our conscience.
    At puberty, we become sexually conscious and our libido becomes a major factor in our sexual behavior. Depending on our living environment, religious, educational and parental guidance, we can become sexually promiscuous; and continue with this behavior even in adulthood. If promiscuity becomes rampant without proper education, religious and parental guidance then, venereal diseases and eventually AIDS and HIV become a major national health issue.
    A wise understanding of the factors mentioned above is a very strategic element in formulating responsive, timely, funding and implementing appropriate health programs and enacting supportive laws to minimize and possibly eradicate AIDS/HIV incidence among Filipinos.

  • Edwin Santos

    Winie Osena, you are wrong about Thailand. They were able to control the propagation through massive campaign about sex eductaion and distribution of condoms. The same applies for Europe. It’s precisely what Filipino did not start yet. Keeping people ignorant is for sure one of the pillar of the survival of Catholic Christanity, but it doesn’t help.

  • Winie Oseña

    This is the effect of propagation of the use of condom and of sex education. The more exposed to sex the more deviant the sexual act becomes. See what happened to Thailand, with the proliferation of condom, the number of people acquiring HIV accelerated to millions. The lesson–do not promote sex. Also by statistics, the more Catholic the country is the lesser the HIV cases, so Filipinos should go back to Catholic Christianity and should live a conservative life once again.