DOH records 498 new HIV cases in March

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

THE Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday reported close to 500 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the month of March.

Based on the March 2014 Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry Report, 498 new HIV cases were recorded that month.

"The number is 35 percent higher compared to the same period last year, which was 370," said the DOH report.

DOH National Epidemiology Center (NEC) Director Dr. Eric Tayag also noted that it is the highest reported number of new cases in a month since 1984.

Of the 498 cases, 53 have progressed already to full-blown AIDS cases.

Seventeen, on the other hand, died last March, said the DOH.

A total of 443 cases (94 percent) of the new cases were acquired through sexual transmission, mostly from the men-having-sex-with-men (MSM) population, which accounted for 381 cases or 86 percent.

Homosexual contact was responsible for 238 cases (54 percent); followed by bisexual contact with 143 cases (32 percent); and 62 cases (14 percent) from heterosexual contact.

Injecting drug use meanwhile accounted for 54 new cases while there is one case of mother-to-child transmission.

A total of 63 new cases among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), meanwhile, have been reported with all coming from sexual transmission.

Homosexual contact was on top among OFWs with 27 cases (43 percent) while heterosexual and bisexual contact had 18 cases (29 percent) each.

The number also brings to 1,432 the number of HIV cases recorded in just the first three months of the year, with 146 already developing into AIDS cases and 34 deaths.

Since 1984, there are already 17,948 HIV cases recorded in the country, including 1,652 AIDS cases and 966 deaths. (HDT/Sunnex)

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