Filipinos urged to avoid unsafe sex as HIV cases rise – UCA News

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About 90 percent of newly recorded cases involve gay sex, the health department says.

Filipinos urged to avoid unsafe sex as HIV cases rise

Filipino youths join a campaign to raise awareness about safe sex and HIV/AIDS. (Photo: Save the Children)

By UCA News reporter

Published: March 17, 2023 10:06 AM GMT

A top health official has urged Filipino youths to avoid unprotected sex amid a rise in sexually-transmitted diseases, especially HIV infections.

During a press briefing in the capital Manila on March 14, Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Filipino youths are vulnerable to HIV infection as they are exposed to risky sexual behaviors.

The HIV/AIDS and Art Registry of the Philippines confirmed 12,341 additional HIV-positive individuals in 2021, she said. The cases increased by 54 percent in 2021 compared to 8,036 reported cases in 2020.

She cited “too much” exposure to social media as a major cause of unprotected sexual behaviors and said unsafe sex is “the most common cause of HIV” globally.  

“We have observed that among the young individuals who are practicing unsafe sex, they already have social media applications, where they can meet and chat,” the Philippine Star reported Vergeire as saying.

“These apps are what they use so that they can meet each other and engage in illicit behaviors,” she added.

Department of Health reported in 2020 that there were a total of 115,100 people living with HIV, and about 90 percent of new infections were recorded among young males who have sex with males. In 2022, on average 41 new cases were recorded daily, more than a 21 percent increase from 34 cases in 2021. 

The department warned that with the current rate of HIV infections, the country will have over 330,000 HIV patients by 2030.


Filipinos urged to avoid unsafe sex as HIV cases rise – UCA News

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