Author Topic: HIV/AIDS "hidden but growing" problem in the Philippines  (Read 1054 times)

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Offline LAD

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HIV/AIDS "hidden but growing" problem in the Philippines
« on: February 20, 2009, 11:47:56 PM »
HIV/AIDS "hidden but growing" problem in the Philippines


MANILA (AFP) - - "I came out to show people we are normal," says AIDS worker Roberto Ruiz, who is fighting the social stigma that HIV/AIDS still carries in the Philippines.
While the government puts the number of HIV/AIDS cases at 8,600, Ruiz believes the number is much higher.

"The true number is probably fast approaching 10,000," said Ruiz, who sits on the board of trustees of Positive Action Foundation Philippines Inc.

He said local and foreign health experts used to say the Philippines is "low and slow in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS".

"Now, they have changed it to 'hidden and growing'," said Ruiz, 44, who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1993.

While the foundation acts as a support group for HIV/AIDS sufferers in the Philippines it also conducts research and has an education programme aimed at lifting the stigma associated with the disease in a country where more than 80 percent of the 90 million population are Roman Catholic.

United Nations data, based on government figures, shows that last year there were 8,600 people suffering from HIV/AIDS in the Philippines despite the country's thriving sex industry and vast army of some eight million overseas workers.

In Thailand the figure is 610,000, in Vietnam 290,000 and Cambodia 75,000.

Soe Nyunt-u, the World Health Organisation's (WHO) representative in the Philippines, said the number of HIV/AIDS cases being reported each month, at 40-45, is nearly double this year compared to last year.

In October, there were 59 new cases detected, he told AFP.

He said the number of cases detected annually has also spiked to 454 in the first 10 months of this year, from 309 in 2006 and 342 last year.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," he said.

"The real number could be much higher than this," Nyunt-u said, adding that many cases still go unreported.

"What is alarming is that infections are now being found outside of the traditional high-risk groups: sex workers, drug users, men who have sex with men, and Filipinos returning from working overseas," Ruiz said.

Transmission among sex workers and other risk groups is going down "but it is in the general population that it is increasing," he said, citing the threat particularly among the young.

So far, health officials have found 481 people aged 15-24 who were infected, with 50 children below the age of 15 also infected. The children were all born of mothers with the disease, said Ruiz.

"There really needs to be a greater government focus on education and prevention programmes before it explodes," Ruiz said adding the programmes should not be confined to schools but feature at the workplace as well.

"The Department of Education has not done any firm HIV/AIDS programme yet, maybe because in the past there were no students and very few young people being diagnosed," Ruiz said.

Had HIV/AIDS education been carried out in high school, then perhaps many of the young people now infected would have avoided the disease, he said.

Ironically, the Philippines is credited with carrying out effective HIV/AIDS programmes among marginalised groups.

"There is a fairly established, organised civil society with many non-government organisations who work with the Department of Health to reach these marginalised groups," particularly sex workers, said Massimo Ghidinelli, a special WHO adviser on HIV/AIDS.

There are some obstacles: the Catholic Church has opposed sex education among children and the promotion of condoms -- two things that would help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

This makes it unlikely that the Philippines will adopt the massive HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns that were so effective in Thailand, Ghidinelli said.

"Each country has its own cultural set-up. It doesn't mean there can't be proper intervention," he said.


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HIV/AIDS "hidden but growing" problem in the Philippines
« on: February 20, 2009, 11:47:56 PM »
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Offline berto

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Re: HIV/AIDS "hidden but growing" problem in the Philippines
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2009, 11:49:10 PM »
Very disturbing..

sabi nga ng doh
3k ang infected .10k-50k ang infected na hindi pa nagpapatest

very alarming

ingat kayo
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Offline Bubbles

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Re: HIV/AIDS "hidden but growing" problem in the Philippines
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 07:06:39 AM »
am just curious how come aids is abnormally skewed towards illegal drug users and homosexuals? why is aids a lot less with heterosexuals?


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Offline LAD

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Re: HIV/AIDS "hidden but growing" problem in the Philippines
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010, 07:07:42 AM »
well kasi... these are the high risk groups...

Illegal drug users = sharing infected needles
Homosexuals = promiscious behavior + increased risk of transmission because of anal sex

one heterosexual group that has a significant number of cases are infected seaman/sailors and their wives.


Offline boingk17

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Re: HIV/AIDS "hidden but growing" problem in the Philippines
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2012, 01:08:29 AM »
Three ways of transmission:

1. Through Blood Transfusion (But is the least cause of the increase in cases because of strict measures in collecting blood donations)

2. Through Mother to Fetal transmission upon giving birth (But not all babies are infected if mothers are screened early for HIV)

3. Through sexual contact (Anal Sex being the riskiest sexual behavior, followed by vaginal sex, then lastly by oral sex)

Present number of Positive HIV cases just for the month of March 2012 is around 300. That is almost 3 times as much when compared to monthly cases seen in 2010 and 2011.

Keep Safe and Healthy Everyone!



Offline Alexander of Macedonia

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Re: HIV/AIDS "hidden but growing" problem in the Philippines
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2016, 02:02:43 PM »
The figures have significantly increased during the first quarter of 2016, with age bracket 25 - 35 being the most number of infected.

Three ways of transmission:

1. Through Blood Transfusion (But is the least cause of the increase in cases because of strict measures in collecting blood donations)

2. Through Mother to Fetal transmission upon giving birth (But not all babies are infected if mothers are screened early for HIV)

3. Through sexual contact (Anal Sex being the riskiest sexual behavior, followed by vaginal sex, then lastly by oral sex)

Present number of Positive HIV cases just for the month of March 2012 is around 300. That is almost 3 times as much when compared to monthly cases seen in 2010 and 2011.

Keep Safe and Healthy Everyone!


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