Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is the virus that causes AIDS.  It attacks the body’s immune system. By weakening the body’s defences against disease, HIV makes the body vulnerable to a number of potentially life-threatening infections and cancers.  HIV is infectious,  which means it can be transmitted from  one person to another. 
If left untreated, HIV will almost always deplete the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to one or more life-threatening diseases that normally do not affect healthy people. This stage of HIV infection is called AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.  The more the immune system has been damaged, the greater the risk of death from opportunistic infections (infections that take advantage of weaknesses in the immune system).[1]
In the Philippines, HIV epidemic can be described as low and slow in comparison with other countries, like in sub-Saharan Africa. The number maybe incomparable with other countries, but the uprising rate of occurrence is significantly alarming.

 Accordingly, from year 2003-2008, HIV diagnoses in the Philippines achieved a three-fold increase in its prevalence and still continuing over the subsequent years. It is noticeable among men particularly to people who belong to the third sex group (bill continuing over the subsequent years. It is noticeable among men particularly to people who belong to the third sex grisexual and homosexual). Also, the average age of people diagnosed positive  with HIV decreased from approximately 36 to 29 years old. Here are significant statistics:
-          There are 174 new HIV cases reported in December 2010 that add to the total infections to 1,591. The highest added cases since 1984.  
-          From 1984-2010, according to DOH's Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry Report, the present total reported HIV/AIDS cases is 6,016. The figure doesn’t yet include unreported cases – experts say it can be more than double the reported number.
-          DOH data show that 833 patients from 6,016 have developed into full –blown AIDS and 315 have died from AIDS.
-          In  2010, 97 per cent of total cases reported (168 out of 174 cases) were caused by unprotected sexual contact, and the rest of comes from injecting drug use and other unidentified transmission methods.
-          From the reported cases in December 2010, 95 percent were male aged 19 to 41 who got infected because of sexual contact.

[1] UNAIDS. Living in a World with HIV. Information for UN system personnel and their families.  Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS 2009. 2nd reprint, December 2009.

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