The latest UN-AIDS report on the global HIV epidemic says 95% of 270,000 new HIV cases comes from Asia.
Topping the list of nations with the highest number of HIV cases is the Philippines, followed by China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Individuals who tested positive of HIV in the Philippines have increased to 140% from 2010 to 2016.
83 percent of the new cases in the country involved males having sex with males or MSM, and transgender women who have sex with males or TGW.
“From 2010 to 2016, unfortunately Philippines is among the highest, the fastest growing epidemic in Asia Pacific together with Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, New Guinea, Bangladesh among others,” UN-AIDS country director Zimmbodiklion Mosende said.
Based on the report of the Epidemiology Bureau of the Department of Health (DOH), there were already 1,098 new hive cases in the country from January to May of this year.
This year, the DOH records 29 new HIV cases daily from individual’s ages 15 years old and above.
Aside from programs aiming to help people with hive, there is also a support group called Pinoy Plus Advoacy Pilipinas Inc, whose members are also HIV positive, that cares for people with HIV.
One of the members is Owie who has been HIV positive for 13 years now. He said he wants to help the public understand that people with HIV or AIDS can also live normal lives.
“We would like all persons with risk behavior to be able to go for testing and we are expanding the test and treat hubs across the country,” DOH Sec. Paulyn Jean Ubial said.
“HIV positives should not be afraid. The government is there. There are funding agencies that are ready to help especially now that the anti- retroviral drugs are now being distributed for free,” Owie Franco said.
Those with inquiries regarding the DOH programs may call the DOH Hotline 711- 1001 or 711- 1002. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News and Rescue
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