May 16, 2005
On May 12, Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit reported that new HIV/AIDS infections in the Philippines have risen to twice the rate of the 1990s. Since 2000, on average, 20 people have contracted HIV each month, up from roughly 10 cases per month in the 1990s, the minister announced. The world's 12th most populous state, the Philippines has more than 84 million people. This year through March, the health department documented 2,250 HIV infections, about 30 percent of which are AIDS cases. Sixty-nine percent of newly infected patients are ages 20-39; 63 percent are males. Of the total, 33 percent had worked abroad, as roughly 10 percent of the country's people do through temporary job contracts.