At least 28 Filipinos are infected daily with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which overtime results in the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), 24 of which are the young ones, National Youth Commission (NYC) Chairwoman Aiza Seguerra said on Feb 14.
During the launch of the "Virus Ends With Us" anti-HIV campaign on Tuesday, also Valentine's day, in the Philippine presidential palace Malacanang, Seguerra said at least 85 percent of new HIV infections daily are aged between 15 to 30 years old, and those aged between 15 to 24 accounts for 62 percent.
"There is a growing HIV epidemic among young people," she said, citing that the problem of HIV is getting worse due to lack of knowledge about the virus and ways of its spread and prevention, as well as discrimination and misconceptions against those who undergo HIV testing.
She said the government needs the public's support for anti-HIV campaign undertaken by the Departments of Health and Education.
"Because we believe that we love each other, it is timely to take the issue of HIV seriously," she said, adding that the NYC is also pushing for the lowering of the age limit to 15 from 18 for those who can undergo HIV testing without their parents' consent.
She said parents are encouraged to talk to children to provide them adequate information not only about HIV, but also about issues like sex, drugs, and mental health.
It aims to enlighten the parents and educators about the best ways to approach taboo issues as well as help adults be open minded if their children get infected with HIV.
Seguerra added that parents and educators should also be pragmatic and remove any malice when explaining the issues.