Vacationing OFWs warned vs HIV-A A +A
Sunday, September 11, 2011
A HEALTH official called overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are planning to return home for the Holiday season not to include in their pasalubongs (homecoming treat) the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
This came after the Department of Health (DOH) reported that since 1984, there have been 7,235 people in the Philippines that have acquired HIV, with 1,688 or 23 percent being OFWs.
DOH-National Aids/Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention and Control program manager Dr. Gerard Belimac said it would be best if OFWs, who have had sexual exposures abroad, would have themselves tested before having sex with their wives, partners or girlfriends upon their return.
"Hindi naman dapat mandatory. (Pero) They can be encouraged. Yung mga pauwi, kung may exposure sila ng mga sexual activities abroad, sila na mismo ang mag pa-counsel, magpa-test," said Belimac. "Baka naman mamaya ay kasama ng pasalubong ay HIV na."
And until they are medically cleared of not having HIV, the health official said it is also advisable to practice safe sex.
He stressed, however, that the foremost precautionary measure is by being faithful to one's partner.
As of the July 2011 Philippine HIV/Aids Report, 166 OFWs have been found to have acquired the virus this year alone, constituting 14 percent of the 1,220 cases reported.
The health department also noted that 96 percent or 1,626 of the total HIV cases among OFWs were acquired through sexual transmission.
Heterosexual contract covers a bulk of the said transmission among OFWs with 1,065 (66 percent), followed by homosexual contact with 324 (20 percent), and bisexual contact with 237 (15 percent). (AMN/Sunnex)