968 new HIV-AIDS cases in March, highest in a month since 1984 – DOH
MANILA — March was a record month for reported new cases of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) with 968, the highest number recorded in a month since 1984, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.
Based on the HIV/AIDS Registry of the Philippines, the latest figure was 32 percent higher compared to 735 recorded cases in the same period in 2016.
This meant that an average of 30 cases were being reported everyday in March.
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, the body’s natural defense system. Over time it leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Of the 968 new cases, 108 had developed into full-blown AIDS.
There were 27 deaths from HIV/AIDS in March.
The regions with the highest number of cases reported in March were the National Capital Region with 309 cases (32 percent); Calabarzon, 135 cases (14 percent); Central Luzon, with 107 (11 percent); Central Visayas, 76 cases (8 percent); and Davao region, 52 cases (5 percent).
Sexual contact remains to be the main mode of transmission with 942, most of which are from the male-having-sex-with-male (MSM) population with 820.
Homosexual contact had the highest number with 560, followed by the bisexual contact with 260, while heterosexual contact led to 122 cases.
Injecting drug use accounted for 22 new cases, while the remaining four cases involved mother-to-child transmission.
A total of 59 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were also found to have acquired HIV/AIDS, all of whom were infected through sexual contact.
The latest figures brought to 2,661 the total number of HIV cases reported in the country from January to March this year, which included 292 AIDS cases, and 155 deaths.
Since 1984, a total of 42,283 HIV cases, including 3,957 AIDS cases, and 2,124 deaths, have been recorded in the Philippines. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.