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It is a fact that reported cases of AIDS in the Philippines is increasing. As of January 2006 the number is already in the thousands with the ratio being 20 Filipinos every month being HIV positive. And according to the United Nations, less than 10 percent of the Asia-Pacific’s estimated 8.5 million HIV positive are even aware of their status. The organization added that the lack of testing, counseling, and awareness impedes the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS in Asia.

Many people — particularly the youth — are unaware that there are three ways to acquire HIV/AIDS: sexual transmission, transmission through blood, and mother-to-youth transmission. As for sexual transmission, abstaining from sex may be the most effective way to avoid the disease, but even sexually active individuals may be spared by being faithful to one partner or simply to wear condoms consistently and correctly.

HIV/AIDS — as well as many other sexually transmitted infections — can be prevented if people are encouraged to adopt safer sexual habits through media campaigns, social marketing, peer education, and counseling.

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