According to the Department of Health (DOH), one case of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is reported every hour in the Philippines.
This alarming new statistic shows the drastic leap from the number of reported cases over the past fifteen years.
In 2000, one case was reported every three days.
By 2022, the number of cases may reach 133,000, according to Health Secretary Janette Garin in an interview with Malaya.
“The figures speak for themselves. And we cannot sit idly, while HIV becomes a sinister threat, not only to the vulnerable population, but also to the society at large. The data is alarming,” she said.
But more alarming than the increased number of cases, she adds, is the fact that HIV patients are getting younger and younger.
Read: Signs and symptoms of HIV in children you may be missing
6,552 individuals have been diagnosed so far in 2015.
Garin stressed the importance of raising awareness and equipping the public with knowledge on how to combat the disease.
She said, “What is important now is penetrating the grassroots. Penetrating the students. Rekindling the issue. Putting it not only in the political agenda, but putting it inside the school. Putting in the area where at a very early age people should be aware.”
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