Increasing Number of HIV Cases Recorded in Philippines, Health Secretary Says
The number of HIV/AIDS cases recorded in the Philippines is increasing, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said on Tuesday, adding that the prevalence of the disease in the country remains low, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. Duque said that even though the Philippines is a low-prevalence country, it "should not be a reason to be complacent." An average of 29 HIV cases were reported monthly in 2007 and 2008, Duque said, adding that an average of 20 cases monthly were recorded in previous years, according to AFP/Yahoo! News.
According to AFP/Yahoo! News, a health department report on HIV/AIDS in the Philippines found that 48% of female commercial sex workers, 27% of injection drug users, and 49% of men who have sex with men and people with multiple sex partners reported using a condom. The report called for a focus on "prevention activities geared towards vulnerable populations," as well as a "scaled up response for making available affordable treatments and control." The report also states that since 1984, a total of 3,305 HIV cases and 310 AIDS-related deaths have been reported in the Philippines (AFP/Yahoo! News, 8/26).