By Kristine Servando

The Philippines has seen an "alarming" increase in HIV cases in the past year, especially among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and men who have sex with men (MSM), according to data from the Dept. of Health, as cited by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

"Last May, the country had 85 reported cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the highest ever in the country. That's like 3 people a day, more cases than the A (H1N1) virus," said Danton Remoto, UNDP Communications officer, at the country's 1st National Conference on MSM, Transgender, and HIV last July 22.
There have been 3,911 HIV cases since 1984, according to Department of Health (DOH) data as of May 2009.

All HIV cases were transmitted through sexual contact, with 36% of cases transmitted through homosexual contact and 89% of cases caused by unprotected sex.

Other "vulnerable groups" are OFWs (making up 22% of total cases last May), out-of-school youth, street children who are sometimes forced into prostitution, and MSM communities (which cross-cultural studies said comprise 10% of the Philippine population).

Although the total HIV cases only consist of less than 1% of the Philippine population - making it a low-prevalence country - Dr. Jessie Fanton of the Philippine National AIDS Council said the numbers are still alarming.

"We will always be low-prevalence because of the high population growth. But if you count warm bodies, it really shows an increase in HIV and AIDS cases," he said.

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Ming Meows said...

it is alarming. i hope this than make me and others stop doing anonymous sex.

line of flight said...

3 too many ... yet unprotected sex is not a problem but a solution to an underlying problem, identify the underlying problem, and we can arrive at a better solution than unprotected sex.


Honestly, the conference we had truly made me realize of so many things.
I interviewed some hiv+ and it was like a snap of a finger and presto they got the virus!

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