ONLY 2,916 cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) cases were filed in the Philippines, failing to meet the 10,000 number of cases projected by international experts in 1984.

Pro-life demographers said the relative low number of HIV cases should indicate that the Church has been right all along to insist on self-restraint and sexual responsibility in the midst of the campaign by birth-control and safe-sex proponents for increased condom use.

According to the report presented by the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) of the DOH, out of the 2,916 HIV cases, 770 or 20 per cent developed to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

The report also stated that more than 58 per cent of the cases were acquired by 25-to 39-year old Filipinos, and that 1,908 of these cases were males.

The NEC said that sexual transmission is the primary cause of HIV acquisition, with a proportion of 87 per cent, followed by transfusions involving contaminated blood, needle pricks, and perinatal transmissions, or the transfer of the virus from a pregnant mother to the child in her womb.

The DOH report backed up the worldwide prevalence report released by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) last December 2006, which showed a worldwide decrease in the number of newly infected individuals from 4.9 million in 2005 to 4.3 million last year, and a decrease in the number of people living with HIV worldwide, from 40.3 million in 2005 to 39.5 million last year.

In comparison, the Philippines marked an evident decrease of cases compared to the increased number of HIV reports in countries such as Thailand with approximately 580,000 in 2005, as 2006 UNAIDS statistics presents.

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According to Dr. Frederick Llanera, a pathologist from the Faculty of Pharmacy, to better prevent the spread of HIV cases, continence should be observed rather than safe-sex measures.

“The decrease in HIV cases is a good indication that the Philippines is improving in terms of sexually related problems, however, pro-life movements should better be observed instead of artificial and safe-sex measures to promote ethical and moral considerations that is still imbibed in our culture and in our nation’s image as the only Asian Catholic country,” Llanera said.

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