HIV/AIDS cases surge to 849 in February

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health (DOH) recorded an all-time high of 849 new cases of HIV/AIDS last February, surpassing the 844 cases in January.

This brought to 1,693 the total number of HIV/AIDS cases recorded this year and 41,315 since January 1984.

According to the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, the figure was 13 percent higher compared to the 751 cases recorded in February last year, with 95 deaths.

The DOH said 94 of the cases were full-blown AIDS at the time of reporting.

Based on the HIV/AIDS Registry of the Philippines, sexual contact was the primary mode of transmission for 828 cases and 707 of them were male-having-sex-with-male.

Homosexual contact had the highest number with 442 cases, followed by bisexual with 265, while heterosexual contact led to 121 cases.

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The DOH added that 19 cases were injecting drug users who shared contaminated needles, while two got infected through mother-to-child transmission. 

Two of the 849 cases are pregnant women while two others are below 15 years old. 

The National Capital Region accounted for 310 cases, followed by Calabarzon with 129; Central Luzon, 102; Central Visayas, 79 and Davao region with 52 cases.