April 22, 2013
Department of Health Region 7 Director Asuncion Anden said that HIV cases in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu, Philippines have reached epidemic proportion. For the time period from January to April of 2013, Cebu has reported 27 suspected HIV cases; Mandaue City, 5 cases; and Lapu-Lapu City has reported four cases. According to Department of Health Region 7 Assistant Secretary Pauly Jean Russel Ubial, the Philippines has seen a total of 339 new HIV cases for February of this year compared with 274 recorded for 2012, an increase of 24 percent for 2013. For the February 2013 cases, 86 percent are males, with most of the cases falling within the 20-29 age group, and the predominant mode of transmission for new cases was for males having sex with other males (82 percent), although an increase of cases among injecting drug users has also been seen. From 1984 through February of 2013, the Philippines has recorded a total of 11,204 cases of HIV, of which 1,217 have developed AIDS. At least 353 fatalities have resulted from the disease. Ubial stated that for every case that has been reported, at least 10 are undetected or unreported, meaning that potentially there could be at least 90,000 individuals who are infected but do not know they have HIV.