844 new HIV cases reported in January 2017

MANILA — Some 844 new HIV-positive cases were reported to the HIV/AIDS & ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP) last January, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

“This is 5 percent higher compared to (the figure in) the same period last year, which is 804,” the HARP said in its report.

It is also the highest so far since 1984, when the first case of HIV was reported.

According to HARP, 96 percent of the cases were male and that the patients’ ages ranged from 3 years to 66 years, with a median age of 27 years. More than half belong to the 25 to 34 age group and 31 percent to the 15 to 24 age bracket.

The National Capital Region (NCR) registered the most number of cases with 307 (36 percent), followed by Calabarzon with 151 (18 percent); Central Luzon with 91 (11 percent); Central Visayas with 62 (7 percent); and Davao with 50 (6 percent).

Some 826 of the patients contracted the virus through sexual contact, while 16 caught it through needle-sharing with injecting drug users (IDU). There were two cases of mother-to-child transmission.

A total of nine pregnant women were among those who tested positive for HIV, seven of whom were from the NCR, one from the Ilocos region, and one from Central Visayas. Leilani Junio/

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