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UN: Philippines falling behind in AIDS fight

PHILIPPINES: The UN Development Programme on Thursday said the Philippines has not done enough to curb the rise of HIV infections in this largely conservative Roman Catholic nation of 90 million people.

Citing official government records, UNDP country director Renaud Meyer said that about 89 percent of reported HIV transmissions were due to unprotected sex. "All the main ingredients for an epidemic are present in the country," Meyer told a conference on HIV.

Official government records show that there were 85 new HIV cases for the month of May which is a 143 percent increase on the number of cases posted in the same period last year.

From January to May, there were 322 infections with one leading to full blown AIDS and one death, the National Epidemiology Centre said.

Most of those who contracted HIV were males in their 20s who had same sex relationships and mostly from highly urbanised areas around Manila. He said the government appears likely to fall short of achieving a UN Millennium Development Goal of halting and reversing the spread of HIV by 2015.

Manila, Thursday, AFP

 

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