509 new HIV cases reported in December
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Health (DOH) reported 509 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV-AIDS) in December last year, bringing the total number of cases to more than 6,000 for the entire 2014.
According to the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry, a total of 188 deaths were also reported from January to December last year, with 96 percent of them male and 35 percent belonging to the age group 25 to 29 years old.
HIV leads to AIDS, a condition in which the body’s immune systems are attacked and damaged by the virus, ultimately leading to death.
DOH records showed that the new cases were 42 percent higher compared to the same period the previous year. Most of the cases or about 95 percent were males who either had unprotected sex or shared needles with drug users.
“Males having sex with other males (85 percent) was the predominant type of sexual transmission. Most of the cases (93 percent) were still asymptomatic at the time of reporting,” said the DOH report.
The bulk of the new cases were from Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Central Visayas and Davao, it said.
In 2014, a total of 5,649 people were infected through sexual contact, 357 through needle sharing among drug users and five through mother-to-child transmission.
“Of those infected through sexual transmission, 96 percent were male. The age range of those infected through sexual transmission was 15 years-82 years,” it also noted.
It noted that Metro Manila had the biggest share in the total number of infected people throughout 2014 with 2,473 cases, followed by Calabarzon with 867 cases; Central Visayas, 618 cases; Central Luzon, 549 cases and Davao, 403 cases.
Out of the 6,011 HIV cases last year, 650 cases involved overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Of these 569 were male and most of them were infected through unprotected sex, said the DOH report.
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