THERE were 55 Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) deaths and 715 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reported in February, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

"This was 16 percent higher compared to the same period last year, which is at 646," said the latest HIV/AIDS Registry of the Philippines.

Of the latest figures, 116 had developed into full-blown acquired immune deficiency virus (AIDS) cases.

In just the first two months of 2016, there are already 1,555 HIV cases being reported to the DOH, including 210 AIDS cases and 119 deaths.

Since 1984, there are already 31,911 HIV cases recorded in the country, including 2,762 AIDS cases and 1,649 deaths.

Among the 751 new cases in February, a total of 711 cases (95 percent) of the new cases were acquired through sexual transmission, mostly from the men-having-sex-with-men (MSM) population, which accounted for 619 cases or 87 percent.

Homosexual contact was responsible for 358 cases; followed by bisexual contact with 261 cases; and 92 cases from heterosexual contact.

Injecting drug use (IDU) accounted for the transmission of 38 new cases, while two others were cases of mother-to-child transmissions.

The regions with the highest number of reported cases for February 2016 were Metro Manila with 295 (39 percent) cases; Calabarzon with 124 cases (17 percent); Central Visayas with 100 cases (13 percent); Central Luzon with 65 cases (9 percent); and Davao Region with 58 cases (8 percent).

Sixty-three new cases among overseas Filipino workers, meanwhile, have been reported with all coming from sexual transmission. (HDT/Sunnex)