Philippine Daily Inquirer
DUQUE: FAST RISE IN HIV CASES IN PH ‘ALARMING’
The fast rise in the number of HIV cases in the Philippines is “alarming,” although the country has the lowest number of cases in Southeast Asia, according to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
Duque attributed the rise to deficiencies in information dissemination about the deadly virus, which the Department of Health (DOH) is trying to remedy.
“We are trying to improve in the area of spreading a more efficient information, education and communication campaign, how to prevent HIV AIDS, how it is transmitted,” Duque told reporters.
203% increase in PH
The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS reported that from 2010 to 2018, HIV infections in the Philippines rose by 203 percent, in contrast to the worldwide decline of 18 percent.
“Ironically, we have the lowest burden of HIV AIDS in
Southeast Asia. We are probably verging 80,000 cases whereas other countries like Indonesia, Thailand have about half a million each total,” Duque said.
“But the rate of increase is alarming,” he added.
He said the DOH’S own study put the rate of increase at 144 percent. Nevertheless, both reports are high, he said.
Among men having sex with men, there have been reported cases of HIV infection in people as young as 15 years old, he said.