The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) released a report on July of 2017 stating the urgent need for the Philippines to combat the infection. The number is a study conducted on new HIV infections from 2010 to 2016.
The Philippines, at 150 percent increase, tops the list, followed by Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakisan, Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, and Australia.
In a report posted by Avert.org (AVERTing HIV and AIDS), a 2016 UNAIDS study showed that Asia and the Pacific have the highest number of people living with HIV, with the number estimated to have reached 5.1 million in 2015. In the region, according to the same source, China, India, and Indonesia make up three-quarters of the total number of people living with HIV.
The Philippine News Agency (PNA.gov.ph) stated in a report last June 16 that in the country, there are 629 people who tested positive for HIV in April 2017, pulling the number up to 3,290 total infections in the first four months of the year.
The foremost mode of transmission still turned out to be sexual contact (609 cases), followed by needle sharing of drug users (18 cases), and mother-to-child transmissions (2 cases).
But the conclusions of the studies mentioned remain positive. According to Avert.org, “Asia and the Pacific has made progress in reducing new HIV infections with a 5% decline between 2010 and 2015. HIV prevention programs have played an important role in reducing HIV incidence.”
PNA.gov.ph is also giving the country hope. As dismal as the numbers may be, the 629 cases mentioned above is lower than the 772 cases recorded in April of 2016.
The government is urging people, especially those who are sexually active, to get themselves tested. Those who have been tested positive can also seek counselling and therapy.
Avert.org put the future of HIV at the hands of the leaders: “The challenge ahead will be for more countries to increase their domestic spending on HIV, ensure that their national responses are sustainable, include prevention and effectively target populations most at risk of HIV.”