More than 900 new HIV cases recorded in April

By Leilani Junio

MANILA -- More than 900 newly-diagnosed cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were recorded in the month of April.

"There were 924 new HIV anti-body sero-positive individuals reported to the April 2018 HIV/AIDS Registry of the Philippines (HARP)," according to a data from the Department of Health (DOH) Epidemiology Bureau released Tuesday.

In comparison, the figure is higher than the 628 HIV cases reported in April 2017.

Of the total cases for April 2018, 19 percent or 179 had clinical manifestations of having advanced HIV infection or acquired immunodeficiency deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

The data also revealed that there were a total of 66 deaths due HIV/AIDS. The data further showed that sexual contact remains to be the predominant mode of transmission among the 905 cases.

A total of 774 individuals or 86 percent were under the males who have sex with males (MSM) category.

Aside from sexual contact, another mode of transmission was needle sharing among injecting drug users, with 13 cases or 1 percent of the total number of cases.

There was also one case of mother-to-child transmission while another five cases had no data on the mode of transmission, the HARP report said.

The data also showed that one-third or 30 percent (282 cases) were diagnosed from the National Capital Region.

It was followed by Calabarzon (18 percent, 164 cases); Central Luzon (13 percent, 117); Central Visayas (8 percent, 71); Davao Region (5 percent, 50); and Western Visayas (5 percent, 44).

Since 1984 up to the present, the DOH recorded around 54,332 HIV cases.

From the figure, around 5,700 progressed into AIDS cases while around 2,598 resulted to deaths.

According to DOH, a person may die not because of HIV but due to "opportunistic infections" or complications which can occur to patients as they acquire HIV.

The DOH has been providing anti-retroviral treatment among the patients as well as free testing at its HIV hubs and treatment centers. (PNA)