THIRTY individuals were diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the Philippine every day of March, the highest number of cases ever reported since 1984, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
In March, 968 new HIV cases were registered by DOH. This is 32 percent higher from the number of cases in same period in 2016.
"This was 32 percent higher compared to the same period last year (735 cases)," said the March 2017 HIV/AIDS Registry of the Philippines (HARP) report.
DOH reported 28 newly-diagnosed HIV cases in February 2017.
HIV attacks the immune system, which is the body's natural defense against illness, and over time leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Of the 968 new HIV cases, a total of 108 were full-blown AIDS cases.
DOH said there were also 27 deaths from HIV/AIDS reported in March.
Sexual contact remains to be the main mode of transmission with 942, most of which are from the male-having-sex-with-male (MSM) population with 820.
Homosexual contact had the highest number with 560, followed by the bisexual contact with 260, while heterosexual contact led to 122 cases.
Twenty-two cases of injecting drug users were also recorded as transmitting HIV, as well as four cases of mother-to-child transmission.
Majority of the cases continue to be recorded in the National Capital Region (NCR) with 309; followed by Calabarzon with 135; Central Luzon with 107; Central Visayas with 76; and Davao Region with 52.
A total of 59 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were also found to have acquired HIV/AIDS, all of which were infected through sexual contact.
For the first three months, the DOH has already reported a total of 2,661 new HIV cases, including 292 AIDS cases, and 155 deaths.
Since 1984, a total of there are already 42,283 HIV cases, including 3,957 AIDS cases, and 2,124 deaths. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)