BY 2025, the country may have some 201,000 cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), according to an official of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS.
Records of the Department of Health show 68,401 HIV cases reported from 1984, when the Philippines started monitoring HIV/AIDS, to June 2019.
Louie Ocampo, UNAIDS country director, said it is projected that there will be around 142,000 HIV cases in the country by 2022.
“We are the fastest growing in terms of growth rate, comparing 2010 and 2018… not only in the Asia and the Pacific, but in the world,” said at a meeting on the latest developments on HIV/AIDS in the Philippines.
“But in terms of absolute number, it is still very low. And we have not defeated African countries when it comes to the number of cases,” he also said.
Ocampo said there is a need for the country to take drastic actions if it is to prevent the continued rise of HIV/AIDS cases.
Ocampo also said stigma and discrimination are the main factors in the spread of the disease because these prevent people from getting tested and treated, and even in using condoms which he said is the most effective tool against HIV transmission.
“The stigma and discrimination is one hurdle we must overcome,” he said.
He also said it is important to focus on the men-having-sex-with-men (MSM) population as they contribute most of the new cases.