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Homearrow News and Events Year 2010 Critical point reached on HIV/AIDS - Malaya

Critical point reached on HIV/AIDS - Malaya

THE Philippines is on the brink of a "concentrated epidemic" of HIV/AIDS as the number of cases continues to increase, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.

Dr. Ferchito Avelino, executive director of DOH-Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC), told a press conference that the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the country is now at 0.4 percent from 0.08 percent in 2007.

"If your prevalence rate is below one percent, you are considered a low-prevalent country. If more than one percent, that would be concentrated or generalized epidemic already," he explained.

Avelino noted that the 1 percent threshold was set by the members of the United Nations and other international health agencies.

He said that by sector, the prevalence rate for the "men-having-sex-with-men" (MSM) group is now 0.99 percent.

"So, there is a big possibility for the Philippines to reach the borderline if effective preventive measures are not be taken soon," he said.

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Avelino noted that for the past three years, MSM has been the primary contributor in the rising cases of HIV/AIDS in the country.

In the past, commercial sex workers and seafarers accounted for most of the HIV/AIDS cases.

DOH records show that from 1984, recorded HIV cases reached 4,697, including 835 that led to full-blown AIDS cases.

In February alone, the DOH detected 130 new HIV cases.

"The figure is a 177 percent increase compared to the same period last year (47 in 2009)," said the latest Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry report.



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