"Tipping Point" Reached!

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 9:10 PM

I have read this article entitled, "Tipping Point" Reached After Rise in Philippines HIV/AIDS Cases? from Irin News. Here are some key statements from the article:

  • In May 2013 415 new HIV cases were recorded, with 55 percent of cases being among those aged 20-29.The nature of the HIV epidemic has changed. Transmission is still primarily through unprotected sex, but infections are now mostly through same sex transmission whereas previously, it was heterosexual.
  • Most interventions are still focused on heterosexual transmission. There is an opportunity for focused interventions [on men having sex with men and injecting drug users] to reach the recommended 60-80 percent of key affected populations
  • Philippines is a low-prevalence country with less than 1 percent of the nearly 95 million population infected
  • the epidemic is “concentrated” with an average 4-5 percent rate of infection among what donors call “key” populations, including sex workers, men who have sex with men and injecting drug users.
  • Since 1987 when HIV was first discovered in the Philippines, DOH-NEC has registered 13,594 infections
  • Stigma continues to surround HIV and with less than 1 percent of the general population getting tested for HIV, officially recorded cases most likely do not accurately reflect the epidemic.
  • It is projected that the number of infected will reach 39,000-50,000 by 2015
  • HIV is still considered a gay disease and equated to a death sentence
  • Barriers discouraging testing among youths include a provision in the 1998 Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act that requires parental consent for anyone under 18 to be tested for HIV
  • an appropriate response to halt the spread of HIV is to give youths sex education that focuses on prevention strategies such as delaying first sexual encounters, as well as a nationwide publicity campaign on HIV information and services
  • Though government agencies such as DOH and the Department of Social Welfare and Development have increased spending in recent years for HIV prevention, funds from international agencies for HIV have shrunk dramatically.
  • According to the Philippines National AIDS Council 2012 report, $37 million was spent on HIV from 2009-2011, or an average of about $12.4 million per year. 





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