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More Filipinos in Danger of Getting Infected with AIDS

The number individuals in the Philippines infected with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) remains low, but there is a need for government to seriously address the problem through information dissemination to prevent the further spread of the disease.

In connection with commemoration of the World AIDS day held Monday, Marlon Lacsamana, an AIDS awareness advocate, said that even if there is a low prevalence of victims from the disease in the country, there is still reason to be concerned because many Filipinos are still not that familiar about AIDS.

The prevalence of AIDS in the country is less than 1 percent of the total population.

Based on records, there are 3,515 individuals mostly males infected by AIDS since 1984. From the said figure, 454 individuals were recorded from January to October of this year, which is much higher than the 342 victims in 2007.

The sudden increase, Lacsamana said, is very concerning because it could get bigger by next year if the government would not help in information dissemination to educate the public about the disease.

“Information about AIDS remains a problem because many are still misinformed about the disease. Even health workers are intimidated when treating [AIDS] patients,” Lacsaman said in the weekly Kapihan ng Bayan Forum in Sulo Hotel.

He said the Catholic Church has remained a hindrance in AIDS awareness and the government has not done anything to find a way to educate the people in the manner accepted by the bishops and priests.

Lacsamana said they are supporting the Reproductive Health bill pending in Congress, because that measure would help in preventing the spread of the disease because it involves educating the public on how to use contraceptives and promote reproductive health.

The Church strongly objects the approval of the Reproductive Health bill.

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Source: The Manila Times

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