ON the occasion of World Aids Day, the party-list group ACTS-OFW called for “heightened vigilance” against an epidemic that has infected nearly 60,000 Filipinos and killed almost 3,000.
“Fighting Aids through greater awareness and prevention is a top priority for us because one in 10 Filipinos living with HIV is a migrant worker,” said ACTS-OFW Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III.
“OFWs are especially at risk because once they are exposed to foreign cultures, they tend to let their guard down,” Bertiz said.
A total of 697 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were newly diagnosed with HIV, or the human immunodeficiency virus, from January to September this year, up 13.7 percent from 613 in the same period in 2017, according to Bertiz.
The nine-month figures brought to 6,135 the cumulative number of OFWs found infected with HIV since the government began passive surveillance in 1984.
All told, OFWs with HIV now account for 10 percent of the 59,135 confirmed cases in the National HIV/Aids Registry as of September this year, Bertiz said. - ACTS-OFW PRESS STATEMENT