Close to 1K persons with HIV recorded in June

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MANILA (July 3)— Almost 1,000 persons in the country were included on the list of reported new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) for the month of June.

According to the Department of Health (DOH) June 2018 HIV/AIDS Registry of the Philippines, a total of 993 new HIV cases have been recorded across the country.

The figure is lower than the 1,015 new HIV cases reported in the same period last year.

Majority of the cases were among males totaling 934, while the rest, 59 were females.

“Sexual contact remains as the predominant mode of transmission with 977 cases (98 percent), with 861 (88 percent) belonging to males who have sex with males (MSM) population,” the report said.

Under the male-to-male sex category, there were a total of 594 cases; followed by 267 from those having sex with both male and female; and 116 from male-to-female sex.

Seven individuals were found to have acquired the virus through needle-sharing among drug users while two cases were caused by mother-to-child transmission. The ages of the patients ranged from eight months to 77 years old.

The data also showed that 18 percent or 174 of the current cases had clinical indications of advanced HIV infection or acquired immunodeficiency deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

One-third or 33 percent, translating to a total of 324 new HIV cases, were recorded in the National Capital Region (NCR).  It was followed by Calabarzon (17 percent, 167 cases); Central Luzon (12 percent, 123 cases); Western Visayas (7 percent, 66 cases); Soccsksargen (6 percent, 58 cases); and Central Visayas (6 percent, 55 cases).

A total of 77 deaths due to HIV/AIDS for the period were also recorded.

To prevent deaths due to HIV, the DOH is providing anti-retroviral treatment (ART) to slow down the virus and stop it from attacking the immune system.

The drugs do not actually kill the virus in the bloodstream but merely suppress its growth through regular intake.

Through the intervention, the DOH is linking the patient to care and give them the option to still live productively.

A total of 549 patients are currently under ART, bringing the total number of Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) under ART to 28,045. (PNA)

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