SIXTY-six individuals were found to have acquired human immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV) last December 2016 after engaging in transactional sex, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

According to the December 2016 HIV and AIDS Registry of the Philippines (HARP), there were 66 individuals who acquired HIV after paying for sex or accepting payment for sex.

“People who engage in transactional sex are those who report that they pay for sex, regularly accept payment for sex, or do both,” noted HARP.

A total of 35 (53 percent) acquired HIV after paying for sex, with all but one are males.

On the other hand, 23 (35 percent) individuals, who accepted payment for sex acquired HIV also, with 21 being males and two females.

The remaining eight (12 percent), including six males and two females, acquired HIV after engagement in both types of transactional sex.

The December figures bring the total for 2016 to 985, of which majority are those who paid for sex at 509 (52 percent).

Since December 2012, the DOH has already recorded a total of 3,522 HIV transmissions stemming from transactional sex, with those who paid for sex accounting for 1,904 (54 percent) cases. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)