Public cooperation needed to effectively combat HIV, says Palace

MANILA, Jan. 8 –The government’s campaign against the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continues but the public must cooperate for it to succeed, a Palace official said on Wednesday.

“Tuloy-tuloy ang ating campaign against HIV. We have always stated there are measures undertaken to ensure the prevention of HIV,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during the daily press briefing in Malacañang.

“Unfortunately, those who engage in certain activities, some of them don’t seem to follow the safe way of doing it. But hindi tayo nagkukulang sa kampanya against HIV.”

The Department of Health (DOH) has reported nearly 500 new cases of HIV infections documented in November 2014, two-thirds of whom were aged 15 to 24 and were mostly infected through sexual contact.

The DOH’s National Epidemiology Center recorded 492 new cases of HIV, including 40 cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), last November. Of the figure, 134 were aged 15 to 24. A total of 10 deaths were reported.

The department said the 492 cases were 28 percent higher than the 384 cases recorded in November 2013.

Sexual contact accounted for 464 cases, 250 of which were due to homosexual contact and 146 were due to bisexual contact, while sharing infected needles among drug users accounted for the remaining 28 cases.

Males having sex with other males was the predominant type of sexual transmission, accounting for 85 percent of the infections, the DOH noted.

Some 83 of the new HIV cases came from the National Capital Region, Region 4-A, Region 2 and Region 11, it said.

The new cases brought to 5,502 the number of cases since January last year, and to 22,018 since 1984.

Of the 22,018 cases, 2,011 have developed AIDS and 1,101 have died.(PCOO/ PND (as)