Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Philippines - HIV infections still on the rise in PH

MANILA, Philippines — Almost 400 new cases of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which could lead to the fatal Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) if not suppressed, were reported last November, 35 per cent more than in the same month last year, according to the Department of Health.

Contracting the HIV virus could lead to a condition characterized by the weakening or breakdown of the body’s immune systems.

Data from the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry showed that there were 384 new HIV cases reported in November. This figure is 35 percent higher compared to the same period last year, when 284 cases were recorded.

The new 384 cases brought to 4,456 the number of cases since January and to 16,158 since 1984.

Thirty-five of the November cases, according to the registry, were full-blown AIDS.

The bulk of the new HIV cases were in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas and Davao.

“However, the three highest reporting regions were NCR, Calabarzon and Central Luzon,” according to the registry.

Ninety-six percent of the cases were males, of which 63 percent belonged to the 20-29 age group.

Of the 384 HIV positive cases, 379 were contracted through unprotected sex, with men having sex with other men as the predominant type of sexual transmission. Five were infected through needle sharing among injecting drug users.

Ninety-one percent of the cases were still asymptomatic at the time of reporting, the DOH noted.

A total of 153 deaths were reported from January to November this year. Of this number, 146 were males.

The highest number of deaths occurred in the 25-29 age group, followed by the 30-34 and the 35-39 age groups, the DOH said.

For the month of November 2013 alone, three deaths were reported, it added.

As of November, there were 5,355 people living with HIV who were reported to have been undergoing anti-retroviral therapy, the DOH said.

Source: Inquirer News

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