GMA News (The Philippines) (08.29.2013)
The Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) data reported that one Filipino is infected with HIV every 1.5 hours. According to Dr. Ferchito Avelino, PNAC executive director, the country was experiencing a “fast and furious” epidemic. Since 1984, the council has recorded 14,474 HIV cases. In May, PNAC reported 415 cases, which was the highest monthly number of new diagnoses until the July report of 449 cases. The council attributed the majority of new infections (95 percent) to male-to-male contact and the rest to injecting drug users or female sex workers. Most of the cases were from the National Capital Region, Cebu, Davao, and Angeles City in Pampanga. J.V.R. Prasada Rao, the UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, stated that the Philippines was one of nine countries where HIV infection was increasing. He suggested that the government spend more funds focusing on the sector of population responsible for transmission. Rao noted that condoms still provided the best HIV protection.