By Dona Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily InquirerA six-year-old girl has been found to have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) through mother-to-child transmission of the deadly disease, according to the Department of Health.
This was only the 48th case of AIDS or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission through pregnancy that has been reported since the DOH began in 1984 to screen and monitor those infected with AIDS and HIV.
A total of 65 new HIV-positive and AIDS cases, or an average of two new cases per day, were confirmed in January this year, the highest ever recorded in a month since 1984.
The average number of new cases each month has steadily risen in the last four years, climbing from 18 in 2005, to 26 in 2006, 29 in 2007, and 44 in 2008.
Of the 65 HIV-positive cases in January 2009, three were reported as full-blown AIDS cases, including the six-year-old girl. All the rest of the new cases acquired the virus through sexual transmission.
Most of the new victims were men, according to the DOH's HIV and AIDS Registry. Half of the new victims are in their 20s.
The youngest new case is six years old and the oldest is 57 years old. There were no reported deaths in January, and 95 per cent of the cases were still asymptomatic at the time of reporting.
The DOH also noted the increasing cases of bisexual sex as a mode of sexual transmission.
According to the latest data of the registry, the 65 new HIV-positive cases confirmed in January 2009 represented a 63 percent increase compared to the 40 new cases reported the previous month.
â€œThis is the highest number ever reported in a month, averaging two new cases per day,â€ the DOH said.
Most of the cases were from the National Capital Region. But 12 of the cases were overseas Filipino workers aged 29 to 57 who all acquired HIV through sexual contact.
Sexual transmission remained the top mode of transmission, but the DOH noted that bisexual sexâ€”involving people who practice heterosexual and homosexual sexâ€”was fast catching up with homosexual and heterosexual sex as the mode of transmission.
Dr. Eric Tayag, head of the DOH's National Epidemiology Center, had said that since 2007 they have noted that there were far more men than women getting HIV.
He attributed this to recent increase in cases of â€œmen who are not gays but who have sex with men.â€
Since 1984 there have been 3,654 HIV positive cases, of which 806 developed into AIDS. A total of 317 have died.Linkback: https://tubagbohol.mikeligalig.com/index.php?topic=18772.0