HIV, AIDS cases breach 1,000 in Q1

MANILA, Philippines - The scenario presented to the Philippines regarding the rise of HIV and AIDS in the country despite a global decline has worsened.

The Department of Health said on Wednesday, May 1, that there had been more than 1,000 cases of HIV or AIDS in the Philippines within the first quarter of 2013. 

According to the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry, 370 new cases were reported in March 2013. This brought the total cases reported to 1,089 this year, leading to 12,791 cases since 1984.

Whereas 2012 saw an average of 8 HIV cases daily, 12 cases of HIV are now being reported. “Most of the cases (96%) were males. The median age was 28 years (age range: 17-63 years). The 20-29 age group (55%) had the most number of cases,” the DOH said.

The mode of transmission for 364 cases was sexual contact while 6 cases were of drug users who shared contaminated needles.

The DOH noted that 85% of the cases in this new report came from male-to-male sex (MSM), a rise from the 82% reported in May.

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) accounted for 128 of the 370 new cases, with 120 of the cases being those of males. The report mentions 99% of the infected OFWs acquired the AIDS virus through sexual contact, with 1% caused by injected drug use.

Despite some headway towards curing HIV, it would be a good idea to practice safe, responsible sex, and get tested for HIV regularly if you are sexually active. - 

Couple and ribbon image via Shutterstock