Philippine Alarming Rate of new HIV Infections

The number of new cases in the Philippines of HIV, which causes AIDS, jumped from only 1 a day in 2008 to 31 a day in 2018.

Number of HIV cases in 2010

Number of HIV cases as of March 2018


New infections occur among men or trans who have sex with men

Alarming rate of new HIV cases

The number of new cases in the Philippines of HIV, which causes AIDS, jumped from only four a day in 2010 to 31 a day as of November 2017. From just 117 cases a decade ago, the total number of HIV cases as of November 2017 is 49,733, an overwhelming majority of which – 41,369, or 83 percent – were reported in the past five years alone.

Most new infections, up to 83 percent according to the Philippine government, occur among men or transgender women who have sex with men.

The increase prompted the government to declare a “national emergency” in August 2017. The epidemic is fueled by an environment hostile to policies and programs proven to help prevent HIV transmission. Government policies create obstacles to access to condoms and HIV testing and limit educational efforts on HIV prevention.

Note: Excerpt from Human Rights Watch report

New HIV Cases daily in 2017

New HIV Cases daily in 2008

HIV/AIDS epidemic trends in the Philippines
(January 1984 – March 2018)

The first case of HIV infection in the Philippines was reported in 1984. Since then, there have been 53,192 confirmed
HIV cases reported to the HARP [Table 1]. Ninety-three percent (49,731) were male and 3,450 (6%) were female;
there were no data on sex for 11 cases. The median age was 28 years old (age range: 1 year – 82 years; no data on age
for 73 cases). More than half (27,228 or 51%) were from the 25-34 year age group while 14,938 (28%) were youth 15-
24 years old [Figure 6]. Seventy-eight percent (41,575) of all the 53,192 diagnosed cases in the Philippines were
reported from January 2013 to March 2018 [Table 1]. Ten percent (5,484) of the total ever reported cases had clinical
manifestations of advanced infection at the time of reporting (WHO clinical stage 3 & 4). From January to March 2018,
16% of the newly diagnosed cases were reported to had advanced infection.


Modes of transmission

From January 1984 to March 2018, sexual contact among MSM was the predominant (84%, 41,710) mode of transmission among males, followed by male-female  sex (11%, 5,665), and sharing of infected needles (4%,1,904). More than half (53%, 22,101) of MSM were 25-34 years old at the time of testing, and 30% (12,711) were 15-24 years old. Among diagnosed females, male-female sex was the most common mode of transmission (92%, 3,169) followed by sharing of infected needles  (3%, 116)[Table 3].

A total of 138 children (less than 10 years old), eight adolescents (10-19 years old), and one adult foreigner  (22 years old) were reported to have acquired HIV through other-to-child transmission.

From 1984 to 2006, the predominant mode of transmission was male-female sex. From 2007, the trend shifted to sexual contact among MSM as the predominant  mode of transmission and has remained as such to the present. From January 2013 to March 2018, 83% (34,301) out of the total (41,575) newly diagnosed cases were among MSM.

From 1984 to 2009, transmission through sharing of infected needles were <1% of the total cases reported. The proportion of cases of injecting drug users (IDU) increased sharply in 2010, at 9% (147) of the total cases reported that year. The proportion of new cases among people who inject drugs decreased to <6% of the total cases in succeeding years.


Note: Excerpt from HIV/AIDS & ART Registry of the Philippines, March 2018 report

Stigma associated with contraceptives

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