HIV cases rise anew

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

AFTER seemingly slowing down in April, the number of new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases recorded in the country has gone back up to almost 500.

Based on the May 2014 Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry Report, there were 495 new HIV cases recorded in May of this year.

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

However, on April, "only" 393 new HIV cases were recorded by the Department of Health (DOH).

"The figure is 19 percent higher compared to the same period last year, which was 415," said the May report of the DOH – National Epidemiology Center (NEC).

Of the new HIV cases, 44 have already progressed to full-blown AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome cases, said the report.

Six, on the other hand, died last May, said the DOH.

A total of 465 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 397 cases or 85 percent.

Homosexual contact was responsible for 252 cases (54 percent); followed by bisexual contact with 145 cases (31 percent); and 68 cases (15 percent) from heterosexual contact.

Injecting drug use, on the other hand, accounted for 30 new HIV cases.

A total of 56 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 24 cases (43 percent) while heterosexual contact resulted to 18 cases (32 percent), and bisexual contact had 14 cases (25 percent) each.

Forty-three percent of the new cases came from the National Capital Region (NCR), followed by Calabarzon (14 percent), Central Visayas (9 percent), Central Luzon (8 percent), and Davao Region (7 percent).

The number also brings to 2,320 the number of HIV cases recorded between January to May 2014, with 218 already developing into AIDS cases and 55 deaths.

Cumulative figures from 1984 shows that there are already 18,836 HIV cases recorded in the country, including 1,724 AIDS cases and 992 deaths. (HDT/Sunnex)

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