27 May 2013

New HIV Cases in the Philippines

According to the Department of Health (DOH) National Epidemiology Center, there were 370 new HIV Ab sero-positive individuals confirmed by the STD/AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory (SACCL) and reported to the HIV and AIDS Registry in March 2013. This was 18 percent higher compared to the same period last year (n=313 in 2012).

Most of the cases (96 percent) were males. The median age was 28 years (age range: 17-63 years). The 20-29 year (55 percent) age group had the most number of cases. Reported mode of transmission were sexual contact (364) and needle sharing among injecting drug users (6). Males having sex with other males (85 percent) were the predominant type of sexual transmission. Most (97 percent) of the cases were still asymptomatic at the time of reporting.

<For March 2013, bulk of the new HIV cases came from NCR, Region 4A, Region 7, Region 3, and Region 11. The three highest reporting regions
were NCR, 4A and 7.

Demographic Characteristics (1984-2013)
Ninety-five percent of the 1,089 cases in 2013 were males (1,036). Ages ranged from 17 to 63 years old (median 28 years). The 20-29 year old age group had the most (59 percent) number of cases for 2013. For the male age group, the most number of cases were found among the 20-24 years old (24 percent), 25-29 years old (35 percent), and 30-34 years old (20 percent).

From 1984 to 2013, there were 12,791 HIV Ab sero-positive cases reported, of which 11,563 (90 percent) were asymptomatic and 1,228 (10 percent) were AIDS cases. There is also a significant difference in the number of male and female cases reported. Eighty-seven percent (11,112) were males. Ages ranged from 1-81 years (median 29 years). The age groups with the most number of cases were: 20-24 years (22 percent), 25-29 (29 percent), and 30-34 years (19 percent).

Modes of Transmission (1984-2013)
In 2013, ninety-nine percent (1,079) were infected through sexual contact and 1 percent (10) through needle sharing among injecting drug users (Table 3). There were 1,026 males and 53 females infected through sexual transmission. The age range of those infected through sexual transmission was 17-63 years old (median 28 years).

Of the 12,791 HIV positive cases reported from 1984 to 2013, 93 percent (11,884) were infected through sexual contact, 4 percent (450) through needle sharing among injecting drug users, <1 percent (59) through mother-to-child transmission, <1 percent (20) through blood transfusion and needle prick injury <1 percent (3). No data is available for 3 percent (375) of the cases.

Geographic Distribution (1984-2013)
Since 1984 to present, there were 12,791 cases reported. More than half (5,998) came from the National Capital Region. Thirteen percent (1,468) came from region 4A, followed by 9 percent (999) from Region 3, 8 percent (962) from Region 7, 6 percent (671) from Region 11 and the rest of the country comprises 13 percent (1,555) of all the cases.

AIDS Cases (1984-2013)
Of the 1,089 HIV positive cases in 2013, fifty nine were reported as AIDS cases. Of these, 55 were males and 4 were females. Ages ranged from 19-53 years (median 30 years). Ninety-eight percent (58) acquired the infection through sexual contact (32 homosexual, 9 bisexual and 17 heterosexual) and 2% (1) through injecting drug use.

From 1984 to 2013, there were 1,228 AIDS cases reported. Seventy-eight percent (956) were males. Median age is 34 years (age range: 1-81 years). Of the reported AIDS cases, 353 (29%) had already died at the time of reporting. Sexual contact was the most common mode of HIV transmission, accounting for 94 percent (1,160) of all reported AIDS cases. Almost half (525) of sexual transmission was through heterosexual contact, followed by homosexual contact (461) then bisexual contact (174).

Other modes of transmission include: mother-to-child transmission (20), blood transfusion (10), injecting drug use (8), and needle prick injuries (2). Two percent (28) of the AIDS cases did not report mode of HIV transmission.

Overseas Filipino Workers
In 2013, there were 128 HIV positive OFWs, comprising 12 percent of cases reported for the year. Of these, 120 (94 percent) were males and 8 (6 percent were females. Ninety-nine percent acquired the infection through sexual contact (36 heterosexual, 46 homosexual and 45 bisexual) and 1 percent through injecting drug use.

There were 2,258 HIV positive OFWs since 1984, comprising 18 percent of all reported cases. Seventy-nine percent (1,791) were males. Ages ranged from 18 to 69 years (median 34 years). Sexual contact (97 percent) was the predominant mode of transmission. Eighty-seven percent (1,955) were asymptomatic while 13 percent (303) were AIDS cases.