Philippine HIV cases rose 89% in November

The number of new HIV cases in the country jumped by nearly 90 percent in November compared to the same period in 2010, a Department of Health (DOH) report said. The Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry report released last week said there were 212 new HIV cases reported in November last year, an 89-percent increase over the 112 cases reported in the same month in 2010. “Most of the cases (94 percent) were males. The median age was 28 (age range: 17-73 years). The 20-29 age group had the most number of cases (58 percent). And 124, or also 58 percent, of the cases were in the National Capital Region,” the report said.

It said the mode of transmission was sexual contact, with males having sex with other males (85 percent) being the predominant way of transmission. “Of the 212 HIV positive cases, three were reported as AIDS cases, one was female and two were male. The median age was 27…of the AIDS cases, there was one reported death for this month—a 26-year old female,” the November report said.

It also said that 25 of the 212 new cases were overseas Filipino workers—21 men and four women. “The median age was 31 (age range: 21-48 years). All cases acquired the infection through sexual contact (five heterosexual, eight homosexual and 12 bisexual),” the report said. Of the 2,081 total HIV-positive cases recorded in 2011, 75 were reported as AIDS cases and 87 percent were males.

Ninety-six percent (1,992) were infected through sexual contact; four percent (80) through needle sharing among drug users; less than one percent (3) through mother-to-child transmission, and one individual got the virus through blood transfusion. Five gave no data on mode of transmission.

“From 2007, there has been a shift in the predominant trend of sexual transmission from heterosexual contact (23 percent) to males having sex with other males (77 percent),” the report said.

The report also noted that from January to November 2011, 860 blood units were screened reactive or HIV and referred to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine for confirmation.

by Philip C. Tubeza
Source – Philippine Daily Inquirer