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PIA Press Release

Youths found still lacking knowledge on HIV/AIDS

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (25 February) -- Alagad Mindanao confirmed the 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey of the National Statistics Office (NSO) claiming that the youth still lack knowledge on HIV/AIDS.

After the presentation made by the NSO to the different sectors in Region XI, Alagad Mindanao representative Alma Mondragon said that the rising number of new HIV/AIDS cases nationwide, specifically in Mindanao translates to the lack of knowledge on this matter.

"In Davao City alone, we have 47 cases while there are 51 HIV/AIDS cases in other parts of Mindanao," she bared basing on the number of reported cases that Alagad Mindanao provides services to.

Mondragon also showed the national picture of the HIV/AIDS situation. Most of the reported cases are that of the males, which 90 percent of them admitted to be homosexual or bisexual.

From January to December 2009, there are 732 male cases and 103 female cases. Newly reported cases reached 121 in males and 5 in females. Total reported cases since 1984 already reached 4,424 for both sexes.

What alarms Alagad Mindanao is the rising cases of HIV/AIDS among youth ages between 15 to 24 years old.

The 2008 NSO survey showed that only 21 percent of young women age 15-24 have comprehensive knowledge of HIV. Almost two-thirds of young women know a condom source.

Seventeen percent of young women (age 18-24) had sexual intercourse by age 18. Among young women who have had sex, only 4% used a condom at first sex.

The large majority (94%) of never-married Filipino young women have never had sex. Among those who have had sex in the past year, 14% report using a condom at last sex.

"We attribute this rising cases of HIV/AIDS in the youth sector to the kind of culture now being embraced in the modern times. The youth is very exposed to various kind of media that would easily influence their sexual behavior," said Mondragon.

However, contradicting to the national data that showed rising HIV/AIDS cases in the contact center industry, Mondragon found no new reported case in the region that comes from the said industry. (PIA) [top]

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