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PH at risk of ‘fast rising’ HIV epidemic

  • Written by Cory Martinez
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 452

“Our epidemic of HIV-AIDS infection is going so fast, especially among young people.”

This was revealed yesterday by Ma. Teresita “Bai” Bagasao, United Nations-AIDS Philippines country director, during the 2016 National Conference on Health Communication held at the Trinity University of Asia (TUA) in E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City.

The conference dubbed “Multisectoral Approach on HIV/AIDS Awareness and Social Mobilization” was organized by the Asian Congress for Media and Communication together with TUA-College of Arts and Sciences; TUA Media and Communication and the University of the Philippines-Open University (UP-OU).

Bagasao said the epidemic in the Philippines is 11 times in terms of growth with at least 26 new infections a day this year alone, is being reported.

Based on the data of UN World AIDS, it is alarming because the epidemic belonged to young people, or as young as eight years old.
   
Bagasao stressed the infection is now happening to at least 3 out of 4 in new generation.
   
“We are the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world and even in the region. And the epidemic is same-sex driven epidemic, which is man-to-man relationship, “ Bagasao told the student-participants in the conference.
   
Bagasao apparently attributed the continuous increase of HIV-AIDS cases in the Philippines on the failure of communication and for not using the right approaches and the medium.
   
She said less than 50 percent about information on HIV-AIDS are still about myths and misconceptions about the illness.
   
However, the UN-AIDS official said it is not only the responsibility of the government, particularly the Department of Health, to disseminate information on the prevention of HIV-AIDS but also the full cooperation of the private sector and the public in general.        “No concerted public communication approach is being done for HIV-AIDS. You need to support the country including the government as well as the civil society. Coming up with programs and services for the country will help prevent the increase the number of cases of HIV-AIDS in the country. Objectively wala ka naman talaga makikita outside na public information about HIV,” Bagasao said.
   
She told conference participants, who are future media practitioners, that they reach out and apply what they have learned in helping the government use the proper approach in dissemination information.