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DOH: More young people getting HIV

MANILA, Philippines - More children and young people are getting infected with human immunodefiency virus (HIV), the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.

Data from the Epidemiology Bureau showed that the number of children and adolescents with HIV has sharply increased in the last five years.

Since 1984, 974 or three percent of the total HIV cases recorded were young adolescents or below 19 years of age, the DOH said. Of this number, eight percent or 80 were children.

The DOH said 86 percent of the total number of children and adolescents with HIV were recorded in the past five years.

Last October, a four-year-old child and 22 people aged 12 to 19 years were reported to the HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines.

A child and an adolescent were infected through mother-to-child transmission, but the rest got the virus through sexual transmission.

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Majority of the children and adolescents with HIV were infected through sexual contact, health officials said.

They have also observed high HIV incidence among people engaging in transactional sex or those who accept payment for sex.

The DOH said 73 or 11 percent of the total cases recorded in October engaged in transactional sex. Their ages range from 16 to 61 years.

The number of HIV/AIDS cases in the Philippines continues to rise, even as this is on the decline in other countries, Health Secretary Janette Garin said.

“What is very glaring there is not only the increasing cases, but the profile of the HIV patients is becoming younger,” she said.

 

 

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