651 new cases of HIV reported in October, up 21% from year ago – DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has listed over 650 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the month of October, a 21-percent jump from figures culled during the same period in 2014.
Of the 651 cases, 60 had developed into full-blown AIDS. Fifty deaths were recorded in the month of October, based on the latest report by the DOH-Epidemiology Bureau.
HIV or the human immuno-deficiency virus leads to full-blown AIDS, the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, a condition in which the human body’s resistance to, and immune system against infections and diseases are weakened and destroyed, ultimately leading to death.
Majority of the cases, at 96 percent, were male and were infected through sexual contact. A big bulk of the sexually transmitted cases were among males who had sex with males.
The new HIV cases were from Metro Manila, which accounted for 40 percent of the cases; Calabarzon, 17 percent; Central Luzon, eight percent; Central Visayas, six percent; and Davao Region, five percent.
Last week, the DOH sounded the alarm over the rising number of HIV cases in the country, noting that from January to October this year, 6,552 individuals have been diagnosed with HIV.
The figure is 37 times higher than the total number of people diagnosed with HIV for the entire year in 2001.
The DOH said that in 2000, an HIV case was being diagnosed every three days. But this year, one case of the disease is being detected every hour, according to the DOH
It also noted that HIV prevalence in the 15-24 years population has increased from .006 percent in 2001 to .053 percent in 2013. “This translates to more than an 800-percent increase,” said the DOH.
The health agency has asked Congress to double its budget for HIV prevention and control to P600 million to step up measures to curb new infections.
The Millennium Development Goals for HIV/AIDS will end this year but Health Secretary Janette Garin announced that the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS have set new global targets for 2020.
By 2020, 90 percent of people with HIV should know their status, 90 percent of these patients should receive antiretroviral treatment, and 90 percent of them should have stable viral suppression, said Garin. SFM