MANILA—The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday reported a total of 804 new HIV cases for January this year or 50 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
According to the latest HIV/AIDS Registry of the Philippines (HARP) of the DOH, the new HIV cases recorded last January was the highest number of cases reported since 1984.
The DOH said the new figure shows an average of 27 HIV cases diagnosed in a day.
The regions with the highest number of reported cases for January 2016 were: National Capital Region (NCR) with 370 (46 percent) cases, Region 4A with 130 (16 percent) cases, Region 7 with 71 (9 percent) cases, Region 3 with 60 (7 percent) cases, and Region 11 with 36 (4 percent) cases.
Of the 804 new HIV cases in January, a total of 771 were acquired through sexual transmission, 33 through needle sharing among injecting drug users (IDU) and 10 percent or 84 cases are engaging in transactional sex.
Transactional cases involve those who report that they regularly accept payment for sex.
Eighty-nine percent of those transmitted through sexual contact were among males who have sex with males (MSM).
Most cases or 97 percent were male.
The median age was 28 years old (age range: 17 years-66 years).
The DOH further said that more than half belong to the 25-34 year age group while 28 percent were youth aged 15-24 years.
Since 1984, there are already 31,160 HIV cases recorded in the country, including 2,646 AIDS cases and 1,594 deaths.
In January alone, there were 64 reported deaths of which 60 were male and 4 female.
The age group with the biggest proportion of cases has become younger: from 2001 to 2005, it was 35-49 years; from 2006 to 2010, it was 25-34 years; and from 2011 to 2016, it was 20-29 years.