ABOUT 750 new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases were reported among Philippine residents in December 2016, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

Based on the latest HIV and Aids Registry of the Philippines (Harp) report of the DOH, a total of 750 new HIV cases were reported, including 72 full-blown Aids cases and 37 deaths.

The report indicated that majority of the new HIV cases were male with 721, while females numbered to 29, including three pregnant women.

Majority of the new cases were transmitted sexually with 734 (97.8 percent), including the 649 (88 percent) coming from the male-having-sex-with-male (MSM) sector.

Homosexual contact had the highest number of new cases with 408, followed by bisexual contact with 241, and heterosexual contact with 85.

The remaining 16 individuals had acquired HIV via injecting drug use (IDU).

Among the youth sector, a total of 221 individuals aged 15-24 years old acquired HIV in December last year, including 219 infected through sexual contact, and two through IDU needle sharing.

To note, the DOH is looking at making condoms more accessible to the youth in a bid to counter the surge in HIV cases among the said sector.

The regions with the most number of reported cases were the National Capital Region (NCR) with 267 cases; Calabarzon with 136 cases; Central Luzon with 74 cases; Central Visayas with 59 cases; and Davao Region with 46 cases.

Among overseas Filipino workers, the DOH said that 53 cases were reported and that all came from sexual transmission, including 25 homosexual contact, 19 bisexual contact, and nine heterosexual contact.

For the entire 2016, there were a total of 9,264 HIV cases, including 1,113 Aids cases, and 439 deaths.

And since 1984, there are already 39,622 HIV cases recorded in the Philippines, including 3,665 Aids cases, and 1,969 deaths. (SunStar Philippines)