12,000 new HIV cases likely for 2019

LAST April, 1 of 5 Filipinos who were found to have HIV already had signs of advanced infection, noted Rep. Alexie Besas Tutor, who pushed for more aggressive awareness campaigns at workplaces and in communities.

“From January to April this year, Bohol had 314 of the total 4,274 new HIV patients so far. Given the latest national figure, it is highly probable that 2019 would be another record year for HIV infections in the Philippines with last year’s 11,427 cases. At least 12,000 new cases can be expected when the December figures are posted,” Tutor said.

DOH data show there were 840 new HIV-positive individuals and twenty percent of there or 165 “had clinical manifestations of advanced HIV infection.”

“That 840 figure is the lowest this year, but the decline would likely be due to the summer and Holy Week vacation last April,” Tutor said.

Tutor, who is vice chairperson of the House committee on health, also said all sexually-active Filipinos “should get tested for their peace of mind and to urgently avail of treatment for HIV when detected.”

“Under the new HIV-AIDS law, some teenagers can have themselves HIV tested. HIV testing is free at the various testing and treatment centers nationwide. PhilHealth also has its HIV care package,” the Bohol solon explained. (Graphics from https://www.aidsdatahub.org/sites/default/files/publication/EB_HIV_April_AIDSreg2019.pdf )