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COME OUT, BE TESTED | People at risk of HIV urged to undergo tests as 8,000 new cases seen in 2015
By: Jet Villa, InterAksyon.com
May 6, 2015 6:07 PM


MANILA - As it stares at the possibility of having some 8,000 new HIV cases recorded this year, the Department of Health has made an urgent appeal to people at risk of contracting the AIDS virus to submit themselves to voluntary testing.

According to DOH Assistant Secretary Paulyn Ubial, the expectation of 8,000 cases this year is based on the 20-percent annual rise in the country's HIV/AIDS cases - a rate deemed truly alarming as it bucks the trend in the region.

"Ït is very alarming because all the countries in Southeast Asia are actually reversing the trend. But in the Philippines, the number of cases is increasing,”she said.

Based on the DOH's HIV/AIDS Registry,  there were only around 500 new HIV cases in 2008 or a little over one case per day. In 2010, there were four cases every day; rising to nine new cases in 2012; and 20 new cases daily in February 2015, Ubial said.

Ubial told a press briefing Wednesday that since six years ago, HIV/AIDS cases have doubled every year. In 2008, the DOH had seen only around 500 cases.

The DOH made the call for a more vigorous voluntary HIV testing as it set aside five days - from May 11 to 15, dubbed “National HIV Testing Week” - for the purpose. The events lead up to the AIDS Candlelight Memorial on May 17. The testing will allow the DOH to get a clear picture of the HIV/AIDS situation,

Ubial urged people who think they might be at risk of having HIV to go to any of the 39 testing facilities nationwide to undergo free testing.

Such facilities are networked with the DOH treatment hubs where infected individuals may access free anti-retroviral treatment.

“Hopefully, this one time, everyone will come out to be tested; and then after this we will have the true picture. We want to get a more scientifically realistic data base so that we can develop programs to address that,” Ubial explained.

Since 2007, HIV cases have been increasing at an alarming rate. One of the factors for the increase is the low testing rate amongkey populations, said DOH spokesman Lyndon Lee Suy.

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DOH records 500 new HIV cases in 1 month
By Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 5, 2015 - 12:00am


MANILA, Philippines - Almost 500 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections were documented in November 2014, two-thirds of whom were aged 15 to 24 and mostly infected through sexual contact, records of the Department of Health (DOH) showed yesterday.

Based on the registry prepared by the DOH’s National Epidemiology Center, there were 492 new cases of HIV, including 40 cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). A total of 134 of them were aged 15 to 24. There were 10 deaths.

The DOH said the 492 cases are 28 percent higher than the 384 cases recorded in November 2013.

Sexual contact accounted for 464 cases and 250 of them were due to homosexual contact and 146 due to bisexual contact. Twenty-eight cases were injecting drug users who shared infected needles.

“Males having sex with other males (85 percent) was the predominant type of sexual transmission… Eighty-three of the new HIV cases came from the National Capital Region, Region 4-A, Region 2 and Region 11,” the DOH said.

The new cases brought to 5,502 the number of cases since January this year and to 22,018 since 1984.

Records showed that 20,519 cases were infected through sexual contact; 1,035 through needle sharing among injecting drug users; 66 through mother-to-child transmission; 20 through blood transfusion and three through needle prick injury.

Of the 22,018 cases, 2,011 developed AIDS while 1,101 have died. A total of 5,750 of them belonged to the 15 to 24 age group, while 69 were below 15 years old.



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