Pinoys with HIV seen to reach 400,000 by 2030

Pinoys with HIV seen to reach 400,000 by 2030
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FILIPINOS living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are estimated to breach the 400,000 mark come the year 2030, the Department of Health (DOH) said, if the prevailing trend is not arrested. 

In a statement, the DOH said it is likely that the number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the country will increase significantly if the necessary measures are not undertaken. 

"The projected number of Filipinos living with HIV may increase significantly by 2030, from an estimated 215,400 in 2024, to 401,700, should there be no improvement in the services for HIV/AIDS prevention in general and PLHIV support in particular," said the DOH. 

Based on the latest HIV and Aids Registry of the Philippines (Harp) report, from 1984 to March 2024, there were a total of 129,772 cases of HIV diagnosed in the Philippines. 

One-third (34 percent) of the total number of cases is in the National Capital Region (NCR) with 43,534 cases, followed by Calabarzon (21,520), Central Luzon (13,522), and Central Visayas (10,522).

The DOH noted that, of the total cases, 82 percent were males having sex with males (MSM). 

Among MSMs, the health department said nearly half (47 percent) are from the youth aged 15 to 24 years old. 

"There is a concentrated epidemic among key and vulnerable populations," said the DOH. 

The health department said it is imperative for the country to take the necessary steps to stop the HIV epidemic. 

This includes having better health literacy, including age- and culture-appropriate information and commodities for safe sex; routine HIV testing at primary care; and early access to antiretrovirals. 

“Resilient and sustainable systems for health can and should serve all peoples for all health conditions - starting with the vulnerable,” said Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa. 

On Sunday, the DOH is set to participate in the International Aids Candlelight Memorial celebration. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)

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