The Cordillera logged 73 cases of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the first six months of this year, bringing to 1,008 the total number of cases since the region recorded its first case in 1984.
DOH-Cordillera HIV-Sexually Transmitted Diseases Program Coordinator Darwin Babon said in June alone, 13 new cases were added to the region’s registry of People Living with HIV (PLHIV). This brings to 73 the number of cases registered since January.
The age group with the most number of HIV infections is the 25 to 34 years old, with 489 cases since 1984, followed by the 15 to 24 age group with 287 cases.
Babon said the 15 to 24 age group also logged the most number of new cases in June with six.
The 35 to 49 age group recorded 197 cases with four new cases logged in June while 28 cases were noted under the 50 years old and above age group.
The mode of transmission is highest among men having sex with men only with 575 cases since 1984 and in which 10 new cases were detected in June alone.
HIV cases that were transmitted through males having sex with females and malesreached 247, while the number of transmissions involving males having sex with females is 164.
Seven cases of HIV were transmitted from the mother to their child and one was through blood transfusion since 1984. There are 14 cases with unknown modes of transmission.
Since 1984, the region’s HIV registry showed 61 patients have died of the infection, with two of them succumbing in June.
Data from the DOH-Cordillera also showed 62 out of the 77 municipalities have recorded HIV cases.
The five most HIV-affected municipalities are Baguio City where 60 percent of the cases were logged; La Trinidad, Benguet with seven percent of the cases noted; and Bangued, Abra with four percent.
Three percent of the region’s cases were registered in Tabuk City, Kalinga while 2.5 percent of the cases were logged in Itogon, Benguet.
As of June, 638 PLHIV are having their Anti-Retroviral Therapy in the treatment hubs at the Baguio City General Hospital and Medical Center, City Health Services Office, and Notre Dame de Chartres Hospital.
Babon said there are 309 PLHIV who cannot be located or those who were enrolled in the treatment facilities, but opted not to continue their treatment.
To provide PLHIV from the different parts of the region easier access to treatment, Babon said the DOH is working to establish one treatment facility in every province.
He said Far North Luzon Hospital in Apayao and La Paz Rural Health Unit in Abra have submitted their intent to become HIV treatment hubs.
Babon added the DOH is awaiting the submission of Kalinga Provincial Hospital; Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital in Bauko, Mountain Province; and Benguet General Hospital of their intention to be among the HIV treatment hubs in the region. – Jane B. Cadalig