Cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have increased to more than 700 as of May this year, according to the latest report from the Department of Health.
Together with the DOH, the HIV/AIDS Registry of the Philippines (HARP) confirmed that a total of 739 new cases of the said disease were reported from their latest assessment.
The health department detailed the results and emphasized that 86% of those tested positive are men and 56 of these cases are overseas Filipino workers (OFW), while 106 developed into full-blown AIDS virus. The numbers also include the 53 people who have died in the same month as when the findings were released.
The National Capital Region, (NCR) ranked the highest in the number of reported cases with 303 (41%); Central Visayas confirmed 108 cases (15%); followed by Calabarzon with 14% (107) of the cases reported.
Central Luzon also recorded 8% of the cases with 58 individuals infected, and Davao Region marked 46 new cases (6%) of the total reported HIV victims.
Reports also specified that the cases received from OFWs were all contacted through sexual transmission, one of the several ways through which HIV virus enters the body and targets the blood cells.
The release of the recent reports prompted the government to remind the public of the importance of awareness and encouraged getting tested as HIV can be a controllable disease if it is detected in its early stages by taking antiviral medications. These measures could help victims manage the disease and even live a normal life.
The latest figures mean that a total of 3,802 HIV cases are already reported to the department which include 518 AIDS cases and recorded 228 deaths within the first five months this year.
It can be remembered that during the AIDS crisis, the Philippines was one of those countries that managed to avoid an epidemic but progress and diversity changed this – as the recent statistics alarmed health authorities and other concerned organizations to take action.