HIV/AIDS cases could reach 45,000 by 2015 – Health department

Published by rudy Date posted on May 22, 2011
TAGAYTAY CITY, Cavite: Cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) are expected to rise to alarming levels in 2015, the Department of Health (DOH) warned on Thursday.
During a media seminar on reducing the discrimination and stigma associated with the disease and the virus that causes it, Dr. Enrique Tayag, the head of the National Epidemiology Center, said that HIV/AIDS cases are set to increase from the 6,498 recorded between January and March to 45,000 in 2015 because of continued unsafe sex practices.
“In 2015, AIDS and HIV cases will increase because of the [high] prevalence rate,” Tayag added in Filipino.
AIDS is a disease that attacks and weakens a person’s immune system, making him or her vulnerable to life-threatening illnesses.
According to the Health department, the most common modes of HIV transmission are unprotected sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, needle-sharing with HIV-infected drug users and mother-to-child transmissions.
Tayag, also the assistant secretary of the DOH, said that the increase was very alarming because four to five HIV cases were recorded every day in the country.
He added that the Health department is trying to “scare off” people about the virus.
“Tinatakot na namin ang mga individuals sa ating bansa na maaaring ma-expose sa HIV [We scare off individuals in our country who may be exposed to HIV],” Tayag said.
“Bakit namin [sila] tinatakot? Dahil isa itong hakbang [para] mamulat kayo sa katotohan na hindi kayo invisible, na hindi kayo [immune] sa sakit na ito, na kayo ay may magagawa [para] gumanda ang inyong kalusugan [Why are we scaring them of? Because this is one way to make you wake up to the reality that you are not invisible, that you are not immune to this disease, that you can do something to improve your health],” the Health official added.
The DOH has advised people to avoid illicit sex to prevent the spread of HIV.
It also advised those who already have the virus to not hesitate in consulting their health centers for assistance.
In March alone, 172 new HIV cases were recorded by the Health department, bringing the number of total incidence to 6,498 since the virus was first detected in the country in 1984.
The department said that this number was 43 percent higher than the one recorded in the same period last year.
Available data from the government agency showed that from January to March, there were 483 confirmed HIV cases in the country.
Most of the cases were males with median age of 27, with the 20-to-29 age group having the most number of cases.
More than half of these cases were recorded in the National Capital Region or Metro Manila.
Since 1984, the Health department has recorded 324 AIDS-related deaths. –Jovee Marie N. Dela Cruz, Reporter, Manila Times

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