MANILA - More than 500 new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases in the country were recorded in April alone, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday.
Data from the DOH’s HIV/AIDS registry showed that of the 560 new HIV cases, 209 were reported in the National Capital Region (NCR), 102 from Calabarzon and 48 in Central Luzon.
The 560 new cases represent a 42 percent increase compared to the 393 cases reported in April 2014.
The report comes in the wake of the 667 new cases seen in March, which were the highest ever recorded since the first case of HIV was reported in 1984.
Based on the current figure, an average of 20 new HIV cases are being reported each day since the start of the year.
Last year, the DOH reported an average of 17 HIV cases a day and an average of nine in 2012.
DOH said that of the 560 new cases in April, 36 have progressed to full-blown AIDS cases while 16 have died.
The new cases recorded in April push up to 2,409 the number of HIV cases recorded in the first four months of the year. The figure includes 65 deaths.
There have been 24,936 HIV cases recorded in the country since 1984, including 2,213 AIDS cases and 1,183 deaths.
The DOH said 547 of the new cases were transmitted through sex, particularly among men who have sex with men, who accounted for 477 or 87 percent of the cases: 295 were through homosexual contact while 182 were through bisexual contact.
Seventy cases were transmitted through heterosexual contact.
Twelve new cases were transmitted by drug users sharing needles while one case of mother-to-child transmission was reported.
Overseas Filipino workers accounted for 50 new cases, all due to sexual transmission. Among OFWs infected through sexual contact, 20 were homosexual, 17 bisexual and 13 heterosexual, the DOH said.
The new cases recorded in March were also 34 percent higher compared to the 498 cases recorded during the same period last year.
The regions with the highest number of reported cases for March were NCR with 293 cases (44 percent), Region 4A with 92 (14 percent), Region 7 with 68 (10 percent) and Region 3 with 57 (9 percent). One hundred fifty-seven cases (24 percent) cases came from the rest of the country.
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