(Manila) “There has been a 587% increase in the number of new cases of HIV in the Philippines from 2007 to 2011. This is simply unacceptable. The DOH (Department of Health) has not seen an epidemic rise this quickly,” Dr Genesis Samonte, chief of the HIV Surveillance Unit of the National Epidemiology Center (DOH-NEC), said Thursday, May 24.
Legislators are calling for an amendment of RA 8504 or “The Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act” to better address this rapidly worsening HIV crisis in the Philippines. The problem is further compounded by the stigma and discrimination experienced by people living with HIV or the human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV).
According to the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry, there are a total of 9,163 registered HIV cases in the Philippines. In March 2012 alone, there were 313 registered new cases.
“In 2000, there was one new case of HIV every 3 days. Now, there is a new case of HIV every two hours,” said Samonte.
The 2010 Global AIDS Report done by UNAIDS showed that there are only 7 remaining countries where HIV has increased by over 25%. The Philippines is one of those 7 countries.