5,537 OFWs have HIV

A TOTAL of 5,537 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have either tested positive for HIV or have full-blown AIDS, and they now comprise 11 percent of the 52,280 cases listed in the Department of Health’s National HIV/AIDS Registry as of Feb. 28, 2018.

This is very unfortunate, because if we look at the median age of these OFWs--at 32 to 34 years old--they are actually at the top of their lives in terms of potential workforce productivity.

From January to February this year alone, 140 OFWs--129 males and 11 females--were newly diagnosed as HIV positive, according to registry statistics.

Almost all of the OFWs in the registry acquired the infection via sexual contact.

The problem underscores the need for the Department of Labor and Employment to invest more aggressively in HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention among workers in general and OFWs in particular. (Rep. John Bertiz III, ACTS-OFW)
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