San Francisco Chronicle Examines Reasons Behind Low Prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Philippines
Health officials in the Philippines "can crow about" the country's low prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which may be due to a small number of injection drug users and the fact that Filipinos initiate sexual activity later in life and have fewer sex partners than their counterparts in the United States, Europe and other countries in Asia, the San Francisco Chronicle reports in an installment of its occassional series on AIDS in Asia. UNAIDS estimates that 9,400 of the country's 84 million inhabitants are HIV-positive, which is only 0.1% of the adult population. However, no one is exactly sure how many Filipinos have the virus, with estimates ranging from 1,810 to 100,000, according to the Chronicle. Most AIDS experts agree that poor record keeping is not to blame for the low number of reported HIV/AIDS cases and that there is "no clear reason" for the low prevalence, the Chronicle reports. However, they also agree that "all the ingredients of an epidemic exist" in the country (Balgos, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/21). The complete article is available online.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.