MANILA, Philippines (Nov. 4, 2011) – The 253 new cases recorded by the Department of Health (DOH) this September is an all-time high on monthly basis and bring the total known cases of the dreaded viral disease in the Philippines to 7,684.
The report, prepared by the DOH’s National Epidemiology Center and released yesterday, reveals a 65 percent increase over the 153 AIDS cases recorded in September 2010. Out of the 253 cases, 5 are already considered full-blown AIDS.
In August this year, 196 new HIV cases were recorded.
The DOH said that most of the cases (95 percent) were males, the median age of whom was 27 years old. The age range among the victims is from 16 to 67 years.
The 20 to 29 age group had the most number of cases (57 percent). Fifty-three percent (135) of the reported cases were from the National Capital Region.
The report showed that the sector of men-having-sex-with-men (MSM) is the group with the most number of cases (83 percent).
Injecting drug users (IDUs) who contracted the AIDS virus by sharing needles accounted for 27 cases, increasing the apprehension of experts this sector will be contributing significantly to the country’s HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Of the 253 new cases, 16 were overseas Filipino workers who all acquired HIV through sexual contact. Eleven of them were males while five were females.
The report showed that from January to September 2011, a total of 1,669 Filipinos became infected with HIV; 71 of the cases have progressed into AIDS.
The DOH noted that since its registry for HIV/AIDS began in 1984, there were 7,684 HIV cases and 936 of them developed into AIDS.
It said that of the 7,684 people who became infected with HIV from 1984 to 2011, 91 percent (7,013) were infected through sexual contact; three percent (218) through needle sharing among IDUs; one percent (55) through mother-to-child transmission and one (20) through blood transfusion. No data, however, is available for five percent (375) of the cases.
Decades ago, commercial sex workers were the primary transmitters of HIV/AIDS in the country.
But the report showed that from 2007, there has been a shift in the predominant trend of sexual transmission by heterosexual contact to the MSM sector.
Two years ago, the DOH had observed rising cases of HIV among IDUs primarily in Cebu City and adjacent towns, raising fears among experts because the virus spreads faster among this sector. (From Philstar.com)