Number of new HIV cases in PH breaches 1,000-mark

Jee Y. Geronimo
Number of new HIV cases in PH breaches 1,000-mark
The Philippines now has 29 new infections every day, according to the health department

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) reported a total of 1,098 new cases of HIV infections in May.

This is the highest recorded number of cases since 1984 – the year the first AIDS case in the Philippines was reported.

According to the latest HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines, 29 Filipinos are reported to be infected with HIV daily.

The DOH said 95% of the new cases are male, and the median age is 28 years old.

Most of them were infected through sexual contact (1,068 out of 1,098), while the rest were infected through needle-sharing among drug users (27), and mother-to-child transmission (3).

About 86% of those infected through sexual contact are males who have sex with males. (READ: Orgies and Tinder: Millennials are having sex, some with a deadly price)

Five regions had the most number of reported cases:

  • National Capital Region – 404
  • Calabarzon – 155
  • Central Luzon – 108
  • Central Visayas – 98
  • Davao Region – 60 

The remaining 273 cases came from other parts of the country.

From 1984 to 2017, a total of 44,010 HIV positive cases and 2,156 deaths were reported.

DOH also reported 15 deaths among people with HIV in May 2017 – all male.

In 2015, the World Health Organization dubbed the Philippines as having the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world. 

The epidemic trend shows that the age group with the biggest proportion of cases has become younger.

To prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among the youth, the health department mulled over the idea of distributing condoms in schools, but this plan was eventually rejected by the education department. –

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.