The highest number of new cases of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was recorded in a single month in June by the Department of Health (DOH) in Philippines overtaking the number of cases recorded during May. The number of cases diagnosed per day stands at 22.
A total of 772 cases of HIV/AIDS were recorded in June, which was 56% higher compared to the number of cases registered during the same period in June which was 494, according to the latest surveillance report by DOH.
The latest number of cases was the highest reported since 1984, according to the DOH. Majority of the cases that is 96% were still asymptomatic at the time of reporting. The month of June witnessed 62 deaths due to HIV/AIDS and out of which 98% were men. According to the report, the highest mortality occurred in the 25-34years age group. Most of those who died (97%) were infected through sexual contact of which 31 of them engaged in male to male sex.
Ninety seven percent were male aged between 13 and 64 years, of the new cases recorded in June. Sexual contact and needle sharing among injecting drug users were the main modes of transmission. Minimum of 87% of the sexually transmitted cases were among males who have had sex with males.
Thirty eight percent of the cases, were from Metro Manila; Calabarzon, 16%; Davao Region, 8%; Central Luzon, eight percent and Western Visayas, 6%.
The increase in the incidence of HIV in the country is attributed to the free voluntary screening, which the DOH conducted nationwide during the first National HIV Testing Week in May, said Health Secretary Janette Garin.
The aim of the National HIV Testing Week was encourage more people at risk, especially males having sex with males and injecting drug users, to get tested so that they would know their status and subsequently from the antiretroviral (ARV) therapy offered across the country in 19 treatment hubs.