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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

DOH warns HIV cases doubled to 50 a day

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The Department of Health has sounded the alarm on the rise of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases in the country, with data showing that positive cases have doubled compared to last year’s daily average.

DOH Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said he was alarmed by the continuous uptick as the confirmed cases show a younger demographic, with one as young as 15 years old.

“Last year, the new cases per day were only 22 at an average [daily]. This year, we’re logging 50 new cases a day,” he said.

The health chief said the department will focus on educational efforts to raise awareness on HIV among students and teens to make them aware of the risks.

Urban centers have a higher incidence of HIV cases compared to others, Herbosa said, citing DOH data.

He also urged the government to improve its distribution of HIV medication as stocks are only in main hubs.

Project Red Ribbon, an HIV and AIDS advocacy foundation, shared the concerns of the DOH chief.

“We still don’t know the extent of the epidemic because of the stigma and discrimination related to HIV testing. It’s been doubling because the testing rate is now increasing,” Project Red Ribbon president Ico Johnson said in an interview.

He noted that HIV screening in communities and homes may have also caused a demand in testing.

“Because of all of those innovations and acceptance, we are getting quite a better feature of the scenario when it comes to HIV,” Johnson added.

The Philippines has logged 116,504 cases of HIV since January 1984.


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