In January 2019 alone, 1,200 AIDS cases were recorded in the Philippines. According to the DOH-Epidemiology Bureau, the numbers are from the HIV/AIDS & ART Registry of the Philippines, and 16% or 196 cases had clinical manifestations of advanced HIV infections at the time of diagnosis.
On average, at least 42 people are diagnosed everyday. 98% of cases are from sexual contact, others are from sharing needles, and others are mother-to-child transmissions. More than 400 cases are in the NCR followed by Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Central Visayas, and Western Visayas.
Though testing centers are readily available and there are many groups that advocate for AIDS education, the number of cases is still increasing at an alarming rate. According to Mary Joy Morin, DOH Central Office National AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and STI (sexually transmitted infection) Prevention and Control Program Officer, 50% of these males are aged 25 to 34 years old, meaning they are part of the productive age or workforce group while 31% are males aged 15 to 24 years old who are part of the younger population and are still in learning institutions.
But why do millennials fall into a big chunk of the positive cases?
Millennials are active in dating; most of them are active on dating apps. The hook-up culture is already normalized, and everyone is now embracing their sexuality. How can we say that something is enough, though? Where do we draw the line?
Many young workers and students value dating and relationships, so they act on them sexually. There are also a number of individuals that prefer sexual encounters without any commitment or relationship.
The statistics are alarming, so what needs to be done to make sure that the number of AIDS cases go down? Is it more government support? Education for schools?
I have a friend who prefers to hook up because he claims that relationships are hard. His sexual partners vary from friends to people he meets on dating apps. Some of them don’t even talk after doing the deed. I thought: “If you get infected, how would you know who you got it from? How would you address it properly?” These are things that people sometimes forget to consider.
How about you? What do you think about the hook-up culture in the Philippines?