Disturbing HIV report: preggies infected

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Four pregnant mothers in their 20s and 52 adolescents are among the 877 people infected with human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS last December.

Philippine HIV-AIDS Policy Act principal author Rep. Ron P. Salo made the revelation citing the latest official Department of Health figures.

“All the adolescents found to have been infected with HIV got it through sexual intercourse and two of them were in the 10 to 14 years age range. The four pregnant with HIV are in the 22 to 25 age range,” Salo said.

The House deputy majority leader said, “The latest report is deeply disturbing. We really need more prevention, education, and other forms of effective intervention. The new law must be implemented fast.”

“Considering that the 108 patients who said they paid for or received payment for sex were aged 17 to 53 years, that means for those who are 10 to 16 years old, there was no money involved, so other factors like rape, sexual abuse, molestation or experimentation would have been present,” the KABAYAN Party-list solon noted further.

With the new HIV-AIDS law, teenagers aged 15 to below 18 can volunteer for HIV testing and do not need parental consent.

“Persons younger than 15 who are pregnant or engage in high-risk behavior making them open to infection can also choose to be tested but with the assistance of a licensed social worker or health worker,” Salo said.

“Thirteen of the 71 recorded HIV-AIDS deaths last December were in the 15 to 24 age range,” he added.

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