The Philippines is in the grip of an HIV epidemic. Image Credit: Agency

Manila: At least 1,103 people tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the Philippines in June, official figures show.

The reported infections bring to 5,491 the total number of new HIV cases from January to June this year, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

HIV can potentially develop into the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (Aids).

The number of new HIV cases in June was slightly higher than the 1,098 cases in May.

From January to May 2017, the total number of HIV cases reached 4,388, lower by 1,103 compared to data from January to June this year, the DOH said.

Those who tested positive for HIV in June included 11 pregnant women and seven children who were younger than five-year old, the DOH said, adding the mode of transmission included sexual contact and sharing of needles (by those who use illegal drugs).

HIV cases in the Philippines have increased by 140 per cent, from 4,300 in 2010 (when monitoring tests began) to an estimated 10,500 in 2016, according to the United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids (UNAIDS).

With 30 new cases of HIV reported daily, the Philippines’ HIV epidemic has become Asia’s fastest growing, UNAIDS said.