‘Fast and furious’ spread of HIV alarms PNAC-A A +A
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
MANILA -- The Philippine National Aids Council (PNAC) is seeking the proper implementation of intervention programs to prevent the "fast and furious" spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the country.
HIV is a type of virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition in which the human's immune system fails to protect the body from infections, including cancer.
At the sidelines of the House health committee hearing on the HIV situation in the Philippines, Dr. Ferchito Avelino of the PNAC also cited Cebu as one of the areas where most number of cases is reported.
“The Philippine HIV epidemic is no longer low and slow, we are now experiencing fast and furious type of epidemic, concentrated on MSM (men who have sex with men) and people injecting drugs,” Avelino said.
“There will be a decrease if there is proper implementation of the intervention in areas such as in Quezon City and Cebu…We need facilitation which should not be punitive in nature,” he added.
For the month of July, the PNAC recorded 449 HIV cases.
Of the total number of reported HIV cases in the Philippines, 95 percent are MSMs. The remaining percentage represents people sharing injecting equipment.
“One new Filipino is getting infected with the virus every one hour and 25 minutes,” Avelino said.
Lawmakers have been pushing for the passage of the new Aids Prevention and Control Law. The proposed law tasks the PNAC to draw up a new six-year program with specific targets to reverse the outbreak. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)