Increasing Number of HIV/AIDS Cases Recorded in Philippines, Official Says
The Philippine's Department of Health has recorded an 84% increase in the number of HIV/AIDS cases since it began monitoring in 1984, causing some officials to express concerns about the increasing prevalence of the disease in the country, the Manila Bulletin reports. Joel Atienza -- technical component manager at the health department for a Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Round 6 HIV/AIDS Project -- said that the number of cases recorded by the National AIDS Registry from January to October of this year is "alarming" because the "number is double than last year's increase." He added that it is "already near 100%."
According to the Bulletin, the registry shows that 59 new HIV cases were recorded in October, with 19% of the cases involving young people ages 15 to 24 and 27% involving people ages 25 to 29. Atienza said that most of the youth cases involved boys and men and that the "sudden increase" of new cases seen in October leads him to "[think] that the youth are really engaging in early sexual debut." However, he added that the increase could be "attributed to the youth's awareness on the services of the [health department] and they are accessing these health services." According to the Bulletin, about 12% of the total number of cases in last year's national registry involved young people. According to the Bulletin, 13 of the 59 cases affected men and all newly reported cases were transmitted sexually (Manongdo, Manila Bulletin, 12/10).