Eight hundred and seventy-one (871) new HIV cases were reported last February to the HIV/AIDS & ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP) of the Department of Health (DOH). This figure is lower than the 1,021 HIV cases reported in January, though the trends of HIV infection in the country remained the same.
To start, the biggest chunk of the newly-infected (96% or 832) were male.
Also, younger people are still getting infected. The median age was 27 years old (range: 4-70 years old). Half (50%, 439) were 25-34 years old and 29% (252) were 15-24 years old at the time of testing.
About one third (32%, 275) were from the National Capital Region (NCR). Region 4A (15%, 132 cases), Region 7 (10%, 86), Region 3 (9%, 79) and Region 6 (8%, 67) round off the top five regions with the most number of newly diagnosed cases for the month, together accounting for 74% of the total.
The main mode of transmission remained sexual contact (97%, 841). Among this, eighty-six percent (723) of newly diagnosed infections were among males who have sex with males (MSM).
Other modes of transmission were needle sharing among injecting drug users (2%, 20) and vertical (formerly: mother-to-child) transmission (<1%,2). There were eight cases that had no data on mode of transmission.
In February 2018, there were 22 reported deaths due to any cause among people with HIV. Almost all (95%, 21) were male. Nine (41%) cases were from 25-34 years old, and eight cases were from 35-49 years old age group; four (14%) were 15-24 years old, and one (5%) case was 50 years and older. All of the cases were reported to have acquired the infection through sexual contact (three through male-female sex, 10 through male-male sex, and nine through sex with both males and females).