1,092 new HIV cases reported in May
MANILA, Philippines — Almost 150 persons who had engaged in transactional sex were found to have acquired the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in May, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
HIV may lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS, a condition in which the body’s immune systems are attacked and damaged by the virus, ultimately leading to death.
According to the latest data from the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry, of the 144 persons who contracted the disease following transactional sex, 77 said they paid for sex, 41 admitted they accepted payment for sex, and 26 reported they had engaged in both.
97% were male
This “special population” group accounted for 13 percent of the 1,092 new HIV cases reported to the DOH for the month of May.
Most of them, 97 percent, were male whose ages ranged from 16 to 61, while the rest were female.
“People who engage in transactional sex are those who report that they regularly accept payment for sex, pay for sex, or do both,” according to the report.
Of the 1,092 newly confirmed HIV-positive individuals reported in the month of May, 17 percent or 190 individuals had clinical manifestations of advanced HIV infection at the time of diagnosis.
Ninety-four percent (1,029) of the newly diagnosed were male. 53 deaths in May
Almost half of the cases (48 percent or 526) were 25 to 34 years old, and 32 percent (345) were 15 to 24 years old.
There were 53 deaths reported in May, with 98 percent of them male.
Based on the registry, almost a third (31 percent or 339) were from the National Capital Region.
Comprising the top five regions with the most number of newly diagnosed cases for the month were NCR, Region 4 (16 percent, 170), Region 3 (11 percent, 124), Region 7 (8 percent, 82) and Region 6 (7 percent, 79)
Males having sex with other males (97 percent) was the predominant type of sexual transmission.
Other modes of transmission were sharing of needles among drug users (14) and mother-to-child transmission (6).
Among the newly diagnosed female in May, three were pregnant at the time of diagnosis.
Meanwhile, among those who accepted payment for sex, 40 were males while another one was female.
As for those who paid for sex, 75 of them were male, while two were female.
The DOH has recorded a total of 673 cases of people acquiring HIV after engaging in transactional sex from January to May 2019, bringing to 6,740 the total of HIV cases for this “special population” from December 2012 to May 2019.
A total of 67,395 HIV cases have been reported from January 1984 to May 2019, the DOH said.
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