The Philippines’ first and only industry magazine that deals with safety and security matters pervading the environment today.

HIV claims 8 Filipinos daily

A record number of 34 million survivors of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are now living thanks to access to better treatment, the United Nations has said.

A report of the Agence France Presse (AFP) last November 21 said Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS said that around 56 countries have managed to stabilize their epidemic and significantly reduce the number of new infections because of significant breakthroughs in AIDS response.

Meanwhile, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), that’s causing AIDS, is also hitting a record high of eight Filipinos a day in September this year, a lawmaker announced last week.

A GMA News report said the National HIV and AIDS Registry now lists 7,684 HIV cases, including 936 with full-blown AIDS.

According to the Rep. Arnel Ty of the party-list LPGMA, a number of 253 new HIV cases were diagnosed nationwide in September. This figure shows a 65 percent increase from last year with 53 percent or 135 cases reported in Metro Manila.

Citing data released by the National Epidemiology Center (NEC), Ty said most of the 240 new cases in September were contracted by males, 16 of which were overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Meanwhile, victims in the 20 to 29 age group make up for 57 percent of the cases. Ninety-one percent of all patients were infected via unprotected sex.

Also, 152 units of voluntarily donated blood were found HIV-positive from January to September this year, representing a 46 percent increase from figures last year. The National Epidemiology Center said this was discovered through screening.

There have been 15 known deaths in the country due to AIDS, with two of the latest deaths (males aged 40 and 49) documented in September.

Ty said the increase in AIDS cases  “exceeded our previous projections.” The LPGMA party list representative is among five lawmakers in the House of Representatives who filed a bill for stricter enforcements to the AIDS Prevention and Control Law. The bill provides PhP400 million to the effort.

The increasing number of AIDS victims requires the government to step up efforts to further educate the public and improve laws that cover medical screenings, treatment and prevention.

The World Health Organization has said the most effective ways to combat the spreading of the virus are abstinence and monogamy. These two points directly hit issues concerning education, moral values and standards, which also should be given priority in addition to safe sex measures and accessibility to HIV screening and treatment.