New HIV cases up 22% in February

Published by rudy Date posted on April 1, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – The National HIV and AIDS Registry has listed 6,326 cases in the country, including the 159 new infections diagnosed in February, a party-list lawmaker said Friday.

Rep. Arnel Ty of the LPG Marketers’ Association (LPGMA) said the figure is 22% higher compared to the 130 reported in the same month last year.

It brings the country’s new HIV infections this year to 311.

Of the 159 cases discovered in February, 144 were males while 15 were females.

The other features of the cases are:

•44 were adolescents aged 15 to 24;
•19 were overseas Filipino workers: 15 males and 4 females;
•One victim died, bringing the total reported deaths since 1984 to 324; and
•9 out of 10 cases are said to be infected via unprotected sexual contact.
The Philippine National AIDS Council has warned that HIV cases in the country could hit 46,000 by 2015 if effective strategies to check the spread of the disease are not put in place.

Ty pressed his call for Congress to revisit the 1998 AIDS Prevention and Control Law to reinforce the fight against the highly destructive disease and to improve the living conditions of sufferers.

UNICEF earlier said that educating children aged 10 to 19 about HIV can reduce their risk of getting the disease, as well as break cycles of poverty and inequity.

It noted that not all adolescents in the country have access to HIV information, making them more likely to be exploited and abused.

The Department of Health, meanwhile, noted that HIV infections, especially among adolescents, are “increasing at an alarming rate” in the country.

On Wednesday, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists warned that proposed ordinances restricting the sale, distribution and use of condoms may promote the transmission of HIV and parallel infections.

Seven barangays in Balanga City in Bataan province have issued ordinances that ban the sale of condoms without a doctor’s prescription, similar to the one in barangay Ayala Alabang in Muntinlupa City. –

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