HIV cases ‘slow down’ in April

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

FOR the first time since December 2013, the number of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases recorded in the country has gone below the 400 mark.

According to the latest Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry Report, there were 393 new HIV cases recorded in April this year.

In January 2014, there were 448 new HIV cases reported, followed by 486 in February, and 498 in March.

The "slowing down" of new HIV cases comes on the heels of calls from some sector for the health department to declare a national emergency over the virus' spread.

Still, the April figure is 1.3 percent higher compared to the same period last year, which was at 388.

Of the new HIV cases, 28 have already progressed to full-blown AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome cases, said the report.

Seven, on the other hand, died last April, said the Department of Health (DOH).

A total of 361 cases (92 percent) of the new cases were acquired through sexual transmission, mostly from the men-having-sex-with-men (MSM) population, which accounted for 303 cases or 84 percent.

Homosexual contact was responsible for 190 cases (53 percent); followed by bisexual contact with 113 cases (31 percent); and 58 cases (16 percent) from heterosexual contact.

Injecting drug use, on the other hand, accounted for 32 new HIV cases.

Meanwhile, a total of 47 new cases among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been reported with all coming from sexual transmission.

Homosexual contact was on top among OFWs with 22 cases (47 percent) while heterosexual contact resulted to 16 cases (34 percent), and bisexual contact had nine cases (19 percent) each.

More than one in every four (26.4 percent) new cases in April were also found to belong to the youth sector or those aged 15 to 24 years old at 104.

The number also brings to 1,825 the number of HIV cases recorded in just the first four months of the year, with 174 already developing into AIDS cases and 44 deaths.

Since 1984, there are already 18,341 HIV cases recorded in the country, including 1,680 AIDS cases and 981 deaths. (HDT/Sunnex)

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