Press Release
July 7, 2011


Alarmed over the growing prevalence of HIV in the country, Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the government to further intensity its awareness campaign in order to help the public empower themselves against the deadly disease.

Citing data from the Department of Health, Angara said the rate by which HIV is spreading is a cause for alarm and, therefore, warrants pro-active measures.

Based on the report, the number of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) cases in the country rose by 20 percent in May with 184 new cases recorded. New HIV cases were not only higher than the 153 cases recorded in May 2010 but was also the highest number of cases reported in a month.

"Many Filipinos, especially the young ones, are not fully knowledgeable about how HIV is acquired and spread, as well as the risks of unprotected sex, owing to the lack of information," said Angara.

"A public awareness campaign will be crucial in curbing risk taking behavior and mitigating the negative impact of the disease on the population. The government should launch a comprehensive information campaign on the facts, risks and misconceptions about HIV," he added.

Data reveals that most of the cases (92 percent) involved males. HIV is also most prevalent (59 percent) among the 20-29 year age group. Fifty-two percent (96 cases) of the reported cases were from the National Capital Region. Thirty cases involved overseas Filipino workers who acquired the virus - 11 heterosexual, six homosexual and 13 bisexual.

The registry shows a total of 6,853 HIV cases in the country since January 1984, with 869 of these progressing into the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

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