388 new HIV cases discovered in April
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 2, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A total of 388 new cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were discovered nationwide in April alone, or 13 HIV-infected individuals per day, a party-list lawmaker said yesterday.

LPGMA party-list Rep. Arnel Ty, one of the authors of House Bill 6751 proposing amendments to the AIDS Prevention and Control Act, said the new cases include 40 overseas Filipino workers and 32 intravenous drug users.

HIV causes AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS destroys the human body’s immune system and does not have any known cure. However, anti-retroviral therapy can slow down the ailment.

Health authorities become aware of new HIV cases passively because compulsory testing is prohibited by law, with a few exceptions, to discourage acts of discrimination against people living with the virus, Ty said.

Citing statistics from the National Epidemiology Center of the Department of Health, the lawmaker said the 388 new HIV cases recorded in April were 67 percent higher compared to the 233 recorded during the same month in 2012.

He said the April cases – 368 males and 20 females – have a median age of 28 years, with those in the 20 to 29 age group comprising 61 percent.

Except for 32 drug users who were infected due to needle sharing, all new cases acquired the virus through sexual contact, with male-to-male sex accounting for 81 percent, according to Ty.

He said the new cases brought to 1,477 the number of HIV cases reported from January to April this year, or 43 percent higher compared to the 1,032 cases documented during the same period in 2012.

The National HIV and AIDS Registry, which began surveillance of the disease in 1984, now lists an aggregate of 13,179 cases, of which 93 percent or 12,240 cases were contaminated through sexual transmission.

Ty said 8,755 of the cases in the registry, or 66 percent, were reported from 2010 onward.

The Philippines is one of seven countries in the world struggling to cope with rapidly increasing new HIV infections. While the spread of HIV has decreased in many parts of the world, it has been growing at an alarming rate in the Philippines, Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, according to the World Health Organization.

HB 6751, which seeks to overhaul the outdated 1998 AIDS Prevention and Control Law, directs the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) to draw up a bold six-year program with specific targets to reverse the average 45 percent annual increase in new HIV cases since 2010.

The PNAC has warned that up to 46,000 Filipinos could be diagnosed with HIV by 2015.

ACQUIRED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME ARNEL TY CASES HIV HOUSE BILL KYRGYZSTAN AND TAJIKISTAN NATIONAL EPIDEMIOLOGY CENTER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH NEW PHILIPPINE NATIONAL TY
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with