THE trend in the newly diagnosed HIV cases since 2008 is quite alarming, which indicates that HIV infection in the Philippines will be here to stay, perhaps for a long distant future.
As of June 2016, the number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in the country per day has grown 26 times from one case daily in 2008.
From January to May 2017 alone, the total number of diagnosed HIV cases has reached 4,488 new cases, already more than half (57.3 percent) from last year’s 7,829 total new cases. Of these cases, 516 new cases were confirmed Aids cases, comprising 6.59 percent.
Conversely, the asymptomatic HIV cases totaled 3,872 individuals or 86.3 percent of all newly diagnosed cases, which makes the figure menacing because of its potential to spread further to unsuspecting victims. Pregnant mothers who are diagnosed positive with HIV already reached 29 individuals, comprising 16.3 percent of all historical similar cases since 1984.
The demographic statistics appeared revealing as well.
More than 90 percent (92.96 percent; 4,172) of these newly diagnosed cases involved males. The age range with most HIV cases is between age 15 and 34 years, accounting for 79.1 percent of all cases or 3,552 individuals. The median age is 28 years old.
Already 187 deaths had been reported in 2017.
In May 2017, the regions with the most number of newly diagnosed cases are the National Capital Region and Region 4A (Calabarzon), totaling 559 cases, or 50.9 percent of the 1,098 cases for the month. Ninety-nine percent of these new cases were males with more than half aged 25 to 34 years old. Youth infection comprised 30 percent.
Whether in May or up to May 2017, the highest reported mode of transmission is male-to-male sex and sex with males and females, comprising 58.35 percent and 32.3 percent, respectively. Collateral infection involved male-to-female sex with evident infection in either the male or the female as carriers.
These statistics are dismal testimonies on the worsening sexual practices among Filipinos, particularly among the Filipino LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) youths, which had resulted into a life-changing mistake that can end in early death.
Evidently, the HIV menace is here to stay and is expected to increase some more in the future. That is so, unless our Filipino homosexual and bisexual males rethink their current values and level of behavioral responsibility.
Perhaps, the contemporary Filipino LGBT community must rethink their level of responsible social behaviors. The figures are clear: the current values that brought HIV/Aids among us are eroding our male population, which can significantly worsen in the future, considering the fast growth in newly diagnosed cases.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on August 30, 2017.
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