CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu has the highest number of reported HIV cases in Central Visayas (Region 7) between January and May 2019.
According to a recently released report by the Department of Health Region 7, Cebu province recorded 69 cases of HIV infection during the month of May alone and a total of 333 infections from January to May.
Bohol reported 29 cases of HIV infection between January and May, while Negros Oriental recorded 31 cases.
The smallest province in the region Siquijor had the least number of infections with only 3 between the months of January and May.
This brings the total number to 396 people tested positive for HIV from January to May in Central Visayas.
DOH-7’s medical program coordinator Dr. Van Philip Baton for infectious diseases said that Cebu’s rates are higher than its neighboring provinces due to its being the most populous in the region.
“It is due to density and the urbanized setting,” Baton told Rappler. “There are more young people in the region, especially in Cebu for employment and tourism,” he added.
The most common mode of transmission in the Central Visayas between January and May was male to male sexual intercourse with 192 cases; followed by men who have sex with men and women with 92 cases, then male to female sex with 54 cases; and transmission through infected syringes with 50 cases reported.
According to DOH’s report, 6,372 people tested positive for HIV nationwide between January and June this year.
The DOH said in 2018 that while the Philippines has a low HIV prevalence rate, it has the fastest growing epidemic in the world in terms of percentage incrase.
In response to this, Congress passed the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018, which was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte last December. – Rappler.com