HIV-AIDS problem in PH now pegged at 5 on a scale of 1 to 10

Inquirer.net reports that the HIV-AIDS problem in the country is now pegged at five on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the most alarming. However, it is eight to nine in specific areas, said United Nations Program on HIV-AIDS (UNAIDS) coordinator Teresita Marie Bagasao.

The average national prevalence of HIV-which leads to AIDS-is under 0.1 percent but Bagasao said there are "concentrated epidemics" in some sites. "(Officials in) some places that have reported more than four percent to as much as 53 percent HIV prevalence among its most-at-risk groups are alarmed and are actively pursuing solutions to address their situation."

Bagasao told Inquirer.net, "In the 2010 Global AIDS report released by UNAIDS in late November, the Philippines was one of seven nations in the world which reported more than 25 percent of new HIV infections between 2001 and 2009, whereas other countries have either stabilized or shown significant declines in the rate of new infections."

The Department of Health, according to Inquirer.net, said there was a total of 1,305 new HIV infections from January to October last year, up from a total of 835 cases in 2009. Over half of those infected last year were in their 20s.

For more on this story, log on to Inquirer.net.

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