Newly-reported cases of Filipinos carrying human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reached more than a thousand in May, according to the HIV and AIDS Registry of the Philippines (HARP) report.
Figures from the HARP report revealed that 1,098 people were found to be carrying the virus last May.
“This is the highest recorded cases ever since 1984,” the report said.
The May 2017 number is also higher by 48 percent compared to the data recorded in the same month last year, having it at 741.
The report said 140 cases of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) were also reported last May, increasing the total number of confirmed cases to 4,181 since they started recording in 1984.
Among the new HIV cases, 558 were infected through homosexual contact, 360 through bisexual contact, 150 by heterosexual contact and 27 by injecting drugs. Three infants were infected by their mothers.
There were also 15 deaths from HIV/AIDS in May, bringing the death toll to 2,156.
From January to May 2017, the Department of Health (DoH) reported a total of 4,388 new HIV cases, including 516 AIDS cases, and 187 deaths.
The DoH said sexual contact remains to be the primary mode of transmission with 1,068 cases, while men having sex with men recorded 918 cases.
Majority of the cases were recorded in Metro Manila with 404, followed by Calabarzon (155 cases), Central Luzon (108), Central Visayas (98 cases) and Davao Region (60 cases).
Eighty-four overseas Filipino workers were found to have been carrying the virus, all transmitted through sexual contact.
The previous highest monthly figure of HIV cases was recorded last March, tallying 968 cases.
The DoH previously reported 629 new cases of HIV in April, out of which 84 progressed to acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS.
Seventeen AIDS-related deaths were recorded in the same month.