UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — An aggressive, drug-resistant strain of HIV detected in the Philippines may be responsible for the country’s growing HIV problem.

The number of new HIV infections in the Philippines increased 140 percent between 2010 and 2016.

Dr. Edsel Salvana with the National Institutes of Health at the University of the Philippines recently discussed his HIV research with German news outlet Deutsche Welle.

Salvana told DW there has been an explosion of new cases in the Philippines because a more drug-resistant strain of the virus is being spread there.

This strain, known as subtype AE, also makes people sicker, progressing into AIDS faster than other strains.

The Philippine Department of Health says there are currently around 50,700 reported cases of HIV in the country.

The agency expects there to be more than 142,000 HIV-positive Filipinos by 2022.