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JVR Prasada Rao, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, with Teresita “Bai” Bagasao, UNAIDS Country Coordinator (third from left) and representatives from CSOs dealing with human rights and HIV and AIDS
Delayed action is fatal, says UN special envoy

in PHILIPPINES, 06/09/2013

For JVR Prasadao Rao, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for HIV and AIDS to Asia and the Pacific, as the Philippines continues to come to grips with the worsening HIV situation of the country, there is now a need to treat HIV as a multi-sectoral development issue. "And because it is a larger issue, it should be dealt with from the developmental point of view. Because if not, it could only worsen,” he says.

This is the gist of the message of JVR Prasadao Rao, the United Nation Secretary General’s Special Envoy for HIV and AIDS to Asia and the Pacific, as the Philippines continues to come to grips with the worsening human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) situation of the country.

Already, the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) classified as “fast and furious” the rising rate of HIV cases in the Philippines, considering that in the last four years, the increase in HIV cases in the Philippines was pegged at 523% (from 2008 to 2012).  There are approximately 14,000 identified HIV cases in the country, though the figures could be higher, considering that many people choose not to get tested, or are unaware that they may have been exposed to HIV.  For the month of July alone, the PNAC recorded 449 new HIV cases.

It is estimated that one new Filipino is getting infected with HIV every one hour and 25 minutes.

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