Major health alert as Philippines tallies 55 new HIV cases daily, among the highest in the world

MANILA (Xinhua): The Philippines tallies at least 55 new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive cases daily, one of the highest in the world, Philippines Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said on Wednesday night.

At a news conference, Herbosa said the cases are higher among teenagers, with the youngest infected being 15 years old.

"We have about 59,000 people living with HIV; something like 130,000 is estimated as existing cases. That's still low for a country with a population of 110 million. But what is higher are the new cases, 55 new cases a day. We are the highest in the world," Herbosa said.

Herbosa stressed the need to test the active young to detect infection. He said the Department of Health (DOH) is coordinating with the Department of Education for a better and more effective information drive, especially among the "experimenting and curious" adolescents.

According to DOH data, since 2021, the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases reported monthly has been increasing.

From an average of 1,027 monthly cases reported in 2021, it has risen to 1,245 monthly cases in 2022. As of the fourth quarter of 2023, the average number of cases newly reported per month had increased further to 1,438.

Since the country diagnosed its first case in January 1984 to December 2023, the DOH tallied 126,378 cases and 7,233 deaths from HIV/AIDS. - Xinhua

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