High number of HIV-positive OFWs recorded

Published by rudy Date posted on May 22, 2011
MANILA — Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) continue to be at-risk of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), with 27 new cases reported for the month of March.
Based on the Philippine HIV and Aids Registry Report, the Department of Health (DOH) said almost one in every five HIV cases reported last March were OFWs.
“Twenty-seven of the 172 or 16 percent reported cases were OFWs,” said the DOH.
Of these cases, 24 OFWs were found to be males while three were females.
All of the new OFW HIV cases were transmitted through sexual contacts, added the DOH, with 11 through heterosexual sex, 10 homosexual, and six bisexual.
This year alone, there are already 63 cases of OFWs reported with HIV.
Overall, there are now 1,523 HIV cases recorded involving HIV since January 1984.
Amid this increase in HIV/Aids cases, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-Accredited Medical Clinics Association Phils. (Gamca) assured of a stricter medical screening for OFWs bound for the Middle East.
Gamca Philippines president Dr. Rodolfo Punzalan said they are prepared to follow the request of the Health Ministries of GCC countries.
“We are responding positively in making sure that the proper protocol is conducted by the medical clinics in ferreting out positive HIV cases for workers applying to the GCC states,” said Punzalan.
The Gamca central office also assured that all its clinics are closely coordinating with the DOH, particularly with the STD/Aids Cooperative Central laboratory, in strictly implementing the Aids/HIV testing procedure for all OFWs. (AMN/Sunnex)

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