Dec 032012
Wanggo Gallaga

THE males-having-sex-with male (MSM) population has continued to be the top source of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases in the country, according to the October 2012 Philippine HIV and Aids Registry report.

The report said a large majority of new HIV cases still come from the MSM population.

“Males having sex with other males were the predominant type of sexual transmission,” the DOH report said.

The MSM population accounted for 236 (83 percent) out of the total of 286 new cases in October that were acquired through sexual contact.

Homosexual contact resulted to 161 new cases followed by bisexual contact with 75 and heterosexual contact with 50.

To note, no less than the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified the Philippines as one of the countries in the Western Pacific region that have low coverage of HIV prevention for MSMs, along with Vietnam.

For the whole month, the DOH found 295 new HIV cases with the remaining nine new cases found to have come from injecting drug use or needle sharing.

“This was 48 percent higher compared to the same period last year at 200,” said the report.

Of the 295 new HIV cases, 22 have been found to have progressed into full-blown acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (Aids).

For this year, from January to October, there are already 2,761 HIV cases reported with 148 already progressing to full-blown AIDS cases.

Since 1984, there have been 11,126 HIV cases in the country with Aids cases already numbering to 1,130.