Filipinos urged to avoid unsafe sex as HIV cases rise

A top health official has urged Filipino youths to avoid unprotected sex amid a rise in sexually-transmitted diseases, especially HIV infections.

During a press briefing in the capital Manila on March 14, Department of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Filipino youths are vulnerable to HIV infection as they are exposed to risky sexual behaviors.

The HIV/AIDS and Art Registry of the Philippines confirmed 12,341 additional HIV-positive individuals in 2021, she said. The cases increased by 54 percent in 2021 compared to 8,036 reported cases in 2020.

She cited "too much" exposure to social media as a major cause of unprotected sexual behaviors and said unsafe sex is "the most common cause of HIV" globally.

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