TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, July 3 (PIA) — The Department of Health (DOH) in coordination with the Philippine National AIDS Council urged the public especially those engaged in risky sexual behaviors to undergo HIV testing at the nearest Regional Health Facility.

During the press conference with the DOH on Wheels: Kalusugan Pangkalahatan Program launching held recently at the Schistosomiasis General Hospital in Palo Leyte, Dr. Chito Avelino, Executive Director of the Philippine National AIDS Council called the people of Eastern Visayas to be tested with HIV as the cases went higher for the past ten (10) years.

Unexpectedly, the global AIDS report in 2012 disclosed that the Philippines is one of the nine countries in the world where cases of HIV/AIDS rapidly increased by 35% in the last 10 years covering the period 2001-2011.

In Eastern Visayas, there are 151 reported cases of which 121 are males and 30 are females.

Avelino further said that HIV infected persons are now getting younger. Previously, most Filipinos who are infected with HIV are OFWs but now, professionals as young as 29 years old are reportedly infected with the virus.

HIV infection is transmitted through sexual intercourse, by blood transfusion and from an infected mother to her child.(GTT/CBA/PIA-8)