Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 HIV Voluntary and Confidential Counselling and Testing Survey (Philippines)

For HIV Voluntary and Confidential Counselling and Testing (VCCT) in the Philippines... what would you prefer... 1) a Telephone Hotline? , 2) an Online Helpline?, 3) or both?

Click here to take survey

Health Update: HIV on the rise

December 28, 2009, 6:04pm

As many Filipinos prepare to celebrate the unfolding of the year with a bang, another boom is on the offing, that is, the rapid and alarming boom of HIV infections in the country—the Department of Health’s (DoH) Registry on HIV and AIDS shows the rise in the incidence whereas 395 new HIV documented cases from January to September of last year increased to 549 for the same time period this year.

However, Joshua Formentera, President and CEO of Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI) shares that a series of intervention done last November 22, 27 and December 6 during the gay pride march yielded a result that is alarming and, as Formentera puts it, shocking.

The intervention was composed of doctors, nurses, people from the non-government organizations (NGOs) and private individuals who volunteered and set up a booth in places where people often go to party and have a good time. This time, the volunteers chose Malate in Manila for the free counseling and screening to party-goers who were mostly composed of men having sex with men or now called in a politically correct manner MSMs.

Read more HERE.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Experts note 'slow epidemic' of AIDS

By JENNY F. MANONGDO, The Manila Bulletin
December 16, 2009, 12:55pm

The HIV/AIDS incidence in the country continues to grow and is now being considered as a "slow epidemic" by experts who think that aggressive hunting for cases should be applied by the health department to arrest this situation.

Infectious disease expert of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and Associate Professor Dr. Edcel Salvana said the government should adopt the "opt-out strategy" where there is no need for the consent of the person to undergo HIV testing.

But he emphasized that in applying this strategy, there is a great need to strengthen the capacity of health facilities to keep all information confidential to protect the identity of persons who undergo HIV testing especially those who are confirmed for HIV.

Read more HERE.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sec. Duque at This Is It!

Sec. Francisco Duque III Keynote Address: IHBSS National Dissemination Forum from AIDS Society of the Philippines on Vimeo.

Fellow government workers, other guests, civic organizations and NGOs, other partners in the HIV/AIDS community …good morning to everyone.

Thank you very much and on behalf of the Department of Health and all the member agencies and nongovernment organizations of the Philippine National AIDS Council, let me welcome everyone to the 2009 National Dissemination Forum for HIV/AIDS in the Philippines. This morning we are presenting new data on HIV/AIDs to know more about our epidemic and its changing trends, so that together, we can mount a stronger and a more focused response that reflects the greater urgency with which we need to confront it.

Nothing in the current trends of new HIV/AIDS infections in the country suggests that we are facing a waning AIDS epidemic. In fact, we may be in for a ride. Although we now see unparalleled momentum in the responses against HIV/AIDS with the way we have consolidated a broader, multisectoral national response over the past decades, the number of people living with HIV continues to grow in the Philippines. We may have the financial, medical, and technical building blocks to curb the epidemic, but overall rates of HIV/AIDS are going up nationally based on the latest report which NEC will announce this morning,

HIV/AIDS is gaining momentum. It is spreading fast in the most at risk populations at a pace that we haven’t seen before and at a rate which can put unsustainable burden on our country for decades to come. It is emerging as one of our primary health and development concerns with the real and imminent danger that the AIDS epidemic can become explosive and spill over larger communities. We have seen that in many of our Asian neighbors, a low-level HIV/AIDS epidemic can become a concentrated epidemic in so short a time. We cannot and should not wait for that to happen. That is the greatest tragedy.

Read more on Sec. Duque's Keynote Address HERE.

Time to move

By Tim Yap (The Philippine Star) Updated December 12, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Fashion Walk on Greenbelt 5 had a different buzz that night. A photo exhibit, with personalities from all walks of the visual spectrum, was the centerpiece that gathered scenesters from the style set. The iconic AIDS ribbon was the unifying factor that weaved through the portraits, all shot by Headshot Clinic head honcho Niccolo Cosme.

From being a project that empowered social networking fanatics by giving their profile picture a boost, the Headshot Clinic has now gone full force into advocacy, adopting the issue of AIDS and HIV awareness in the Philippines via digital photography as main medium of representation. The word of mouth is fast, as publicity is done through prevailing social networks, each profile pic probably taken at one of the Headshot Clinic projects.

Same time last year, UNAIDS supports The Headshot Clinic: AWARE to spread the issues and facts of HIV and AIDS. This year, UNAIDS and Project Headshot Clinic are working together once again to call for ACTION in fighting the spreading of HIV and AIDS. “It is a sad realization that as much as we are aware of the dangers, still more and more people are diagnosed with the desease — and so we have to MOVE,” said the photographer devoted to this cause.

The UNAIDS director Teresita Bagasao started work on HIV awareness back in the ’80s. She met one heterosexual woman who transmitted HIV from her husband. “If it happened to her, it can happen to me, too,” said Miss Bagasao, who asked to be called Bai. “A few years back, there was one case reported every three to four days. Now it is three to four cases of HIV infection every day. The numbers have risen,” Bai spoke in a calm and clear manner over cocktails at Greenbelt while walking through Niccolo Cosme’s portraits of people.

“We will fight it together, everyone has a voice and it should be heard,” said the visionary photographer who uses his distinctive style of hyper reality, for a purpose.

To date, the Headshot Clinic project has taken more than 5,000 headshots locally and abroad, and is continually spreading the call for freedom of expression. Niccolo believes that photography is his way of helping out, and has indeed conceptually created change, through his lenses.

Your move, up next.

Read more here

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rising HIV cases in RP alarms Saudi embassy

By Veronica Uy, INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:21:00 12/10/2009

MANILA, Philippines—The rising number of HIV and AIDS cases in the country has so worried the Saudi embassy here that it advised medical clinics processing overseas Filipino workers bound for Middle East countries to intensify medical exams and screening for workers to be deployed there, it was learned Thursday.

Departing Saudi Ambassador to the Philippines Muhammad Ameen Wali had called Dr. Rodolfo Punzalan, president and chairman of accredited clinics that screen OFWs leaving for the Gulf countries, to express his concern over the reported upsurge in the cases of human immuno-deficiency virus and acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome in the country.

Read more HERE.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fresh Photos from the 2009 IHBSS NDF

Sec. Duque giving the Keynote Speech

Ms Bai Bagasao, presenting the Commission on Asia Report "Where We Failed in our HIV Response!"

Tuguegarao City and Manila City receiving IHBSS awards for achieving desired number of survey sample size.

See the rest of the photos HERE.

THIS is it! The 2009 HIV Epidemic Situationer

The 2009 Integrated HIV Behavioral Serologic Surveillance (IHBSS)
National Dissemination Forum
December 10-11, 2009, Heritage Hotel, Pasay City, Philippines
(The 2009 IHBSS NDF is still on-going)


8:00 - 9:00Registration

9:00 - 12:00
  • Invocation
  • National Anthem
  • Welcome Remarks
    Dr. Enrique Tayag, Director IV - NEC-DOH
  • Introduction of Participants
  • AIDS Commission Report
    Ms. Teresita Marie Bagasao, Country Coordinator, UNAIDS
  • Key Note Speaker
  • Hon. Francisco T. Duque III, MD, MSc, Secretary of Health
  • This is IT! - HIV/AIDS Situationer
    by: Dr. Enrique Tayag
  • Open Forum
  • Short Feedback by Panel
    Usec. Alicia R. Bala, DSWD
    Mr. Joshua Formentra, President, PAFPI
    Dr. Gerard Belimac, Program Manager, NASPCP
    Wango Gallaga, HIV Advocate

12:00 - 1:00LUNCH BREAK

1:00 - 2:45Discussions: OST (Open Source Technology)
Facilitated by Dr. Eric Tayag

2:45 - 3:00Posting of OST Inputs

3:00 - 3:15COFFEE BREAK
3:15 - 5:00Closing Remarks
End of Program

Forum Links

Know more about HIV...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Non-discrimination is focus of Human Rights Day, 10 December

"Discrimination targets individuals and groups that are vulnerable to attack: the disabled, women and girls, the poor, migrants, minorities, and all those who are perceived as different.

... But these victims of discrimination are not alone. The United Nations is standing with them, committed to defending the rights of all, and particularly the most vulnerable. That is our identity and our mission."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The realisation of all human rights - social, economic and cultural as well as civil and political rights – is hampered by discrimination. All too often, when faced with prejudice and discrimination, political leaders, governments and ordinary citizens are silent or complacent.

Yet everyone of us can make a difference. You are encouraged to celebrate Human Rights Day by advocating non-discrimination, organizing activities, raising awareness and reaching out to your local communities on 10 December and beyond.

Secretary-General's Message for Human Rights Day 2009

No country is free of discrimination. We see it everywhere, in many forms: old and new, covert and blatant, public and private. It may appear as institutionalized racism, as ethnic strife, as episodes of intolerance and rejection, or as an official national version of history that denies the identity of others.

Discrimination targets individuals and groups that are vulnerable to attack: the disabled, women and girls, the poor, migrants, minorities, and all those who are perceived as different.

These vulnerable people are frequently excluded from participating in the economic, political, cultural and social lives of their communities. The bigotry that stigmatizes and excludes them can be exploited by extremists. In some countries, we are witnessing the rise of a new politics of xenophobia.

But these victims of discrimination are not alone. The United Nations is standing with them, committed to defending the rights of all, and particularly the most vulnerable. That is our identity and our mission.

The international human rights community continues to counter bias and hatred. Public awareness has led to global treaties offering legal protection from discrimination and unequal treatment.

But abstract commitments are not enough. We must continue to confront inequality and intolerance wherever they are found.

On Human Rights Day, I invite people everywhere, at all levels, to join the United Nations and human rights defenders around the world in the fight against discrimination.

Ban Ki-moon

Friday, December 4, 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT! The New UNAIDS Philippines Web-site is up

The new UNAIDS Philippines web-site is up. You can now access a broader range of information -- from the work of UNAIDS Cosponsors and Secretariat, events by and related news on UNAIDS Philippines, to contacts of HIV-related services in the country – anytime, anywhere. You will also be able to access the UNAIDS Library Publications and documents along with the emerging Digital Collection Services. Visit us at www.unaids.org.ph.


Shell calls on business to back AIDS prevention in workplace

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Message on the occasion of World AIDS Day: "Universal Access and Human Rights" by Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

On this World AIDS Day we are filled with both hope and concern.

Hope because significant progress has been made towards universal access. New HIV infections have dropped. Fewer children are born with HIV. And more than 4 million people are on treatment.

Concern because 28 years into the epidemic the virus continues to make inroads into new populations; stigma and discrimination continue to undermine efforts to turn back the epidemic. The violation of human rights of people living with HIV, women and girls, men who have sex with men, injecting drug users and sex workers must end.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on "all countries to live up to their commitments to enact or enforce legislation outlawing discrimination against people living with HIV and members of vulnerable groups". On this World AIDS Day, let us work urgently to remove punitive laws and practices and put an end to discrimination against and criminalization of people affected by HIV.

On World AIDS Day let us also act on HIV prevention. For every two people put on treatment, five are newly infected. Too often prevention programmes are not reaching those most in need.

We can eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV. We can empower young people to protect themselves from HIV. We can stop violence against women and girls. We can protect drug users from becoming infected with HIV. And we can reduce sexual transmission of HIV.

Gains made today are fragile and must be sustained. The economic crisis should not be a reason for reducing investments in health. Economic adjustments must be made through a human rights lens that keeps the focus on those most vulnerable. This is the time to increase rather than decrease funding for AIDS.

AIDS provides a powerful mechanism for creating integrated health, human rights and development programmes. We must take AIDS out of isolation and create a broad social movement that will accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goals.

World AIDS Day provides an opportunity for all of us - individuals, communities and political leaders - to take action towards making universal access a reality.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The world is seeing signs of progress in reversing the AIDS epidemic in some countries. Investments in the AIDS response are producing results and saving lives.

At the same time, in global terms new infections are outpacing the gains achieved in putting people on treatment, and AIDS remains one of the leading causes of premature death globally.

On World AIDS Day this year, our challenge is clear: we must continue doing what works, but we must also do more, on an urgent basis, to uphold our commitment to reach universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.

This goal can be achieved only if we shine the full light of human rights on HIV. That means countering any form of HIV-related stigma and discrimination. It means eliminating violence against women and girls. It means ensuring access to HIV information and services.

I urge all countries to remove punitive laws, policies and practices that hamper the AIDS response, including travel restrictions against people living with HIV. Successful AIDS responses do not punish people; they protect them.

In many countries, legal frameworks institutionalize discrimination against groups most at risk. Yet discrimination against sex workers, drug users and men who have sex with men only fuels the epidemic and prevents cost-effective interventions. We must ensure that AIDS responses are based on evidence, not ideology, and reach those most in need and most affected.

People living with HIV can be powerful role models in guiding us to better approaches to prevention, health and human dignity. We must recognize their contributions and promote their active participation in all aspects of the AIDS response.

On this World AIDS Day, let us uphold the human rights of all people living with HIV, people at risk of infection, and children and families affected by the epidemic. Let us, especially at this time of economic crisis, use the AIDS response to generate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Most of all, let us act now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Global Fund approves US$2.4 billion in new grants

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s Board of Directors has approved new grants with a two-year commitment of US$2.4 billion. The Global Fund Board concluded its 20th meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 11 November. High on the agenda were discussions on the implications of the global financial crisis for a fully funded AIDS response.

The Global Fund Board also announced the launch its next round of grants in May 2010. This round of funding will be considered for approval at a Board meeting to be held some time between November 2010 and January 2011.

“We are seeing a tremendous demand for funding,” said Michel Kazatchkine, the Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Countries are showing that they are able to effectively turn large amounts of money from donors into prevention, care and treatment of AIDS, TB and malaria, which in turn will save millions of lives.”

Addressing the Global Fund Board earlier in the week UNAIDS Executive Director, Mr Michel Sidibé congratulated Dr Kazatchkine on the excellent progress made over the last year.

Mr Sidibé expressed concern that because overall resource demand is higher than anticipated in the funding scenario of the replenishment meeting in Berlin in 2007, the Global Fund risks facing a resource gap for the period 2009-2010. He reiterated his call to donor countries to ensure that the Global Fund is fully funded. He also called for appropriate prevention investments that match the nature of the epidemic, for example in Eastern Europe where HIV is mainly transmitted via injecting drug use.

Speaking on the potential impact of the financial crisis on the AIDS response, Mr Sidibé called for innovative approaches and the need to establish new partnerships in the AIDS response.

With its key approaches – country ownership, inclusiveness, accountability and performance-based funding – the Global Fund is setting the standard in development financing and is strongly aligned with aid effectiveness principles. Praising this approach, Mr Sidibé encouraged even greater engagement with implementing countries and communities in decision-making processes.

Read more here

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Violence against women and HIV

Numerous studies from around the globe confirm the links between violence against women and HIV. These studies show that women living with HIV are more likely to have experienced violence, and that, women who have experienced violence are more likely to have HIV infection.

From 27-29 October the World Health Organization (WHO), on behalf of the UNAIDS family, convened a working group of experts and practitioners to review evidence around the links between violence against women and HIV, as well as programmatic interventions and strategies which address the intersections of violence and HIV. The aim of the meeting was to make policy and programmatic recommendations for national and international AIDS programmes as well as to develop an agenda for future programme development, evaluation and research efforts based on a review of evidence from different interventions.

The meeting was part of UNAIDS efforts to operationalize the Joint Action for Results: the UNAIDS Outcome Framework, which includes violence against women and girls as one of its nine priority areas.

Violence and HIV
According to a 2006 report by United Nations Secretary-General one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime, usually by someone known to her.

Violence and the threat of violence dramatically increase the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV by making it difficult or impossible for women to abstain from sex, to get their partners to be faithful, or to use a condom. The risk of HIV transmission increases during violent or forced-sex situations as the abrasions caused through forced penetration can facilitate entry of the virus.

Read more here

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

WHO report on the health of women: AIDS leading cause of death globally in women of reproductive age

In a landmark report on the health of women and girls across the globe, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that AIDS-related illness is the leading cause of death and disease among women of reproductive age in low and middle income countries, particularly in Africa. Also, globally, unsafe sex is the single leading risk factor contributing to deaths among women of reproductive age. These findings support the contention in Women and Health: Today’s Evidence, Tomorrow’s Agenda that in a multiplicity of areas female health is neglected and must now be considered an urgent priority

The report maintains that women and girls are especially vulnerable to HIV infection due to a variety of biological and social factors. These include low socio-economic status that can limit choices and lead to high risk behaviours and norms and laws that subjugate women and which discourage them from seeking and obtaining the information they need to keep themselves safe. For example, globally only 38% of young women are able to describe the main ways to avoid infection and they are less likely to know that condoms can protect against HIV than young men. Data from 16 countries in sub-Saharan Africa from 2001-2007 also show that HIV prevalence is generally higher among adolescent girls aged 15-19 than their male counterparts. A significant cause of this is young girls partnering with older men who are more sexually experienced and more likely to be infected.

Violence against women

Violence against women is also a major cause of their increased vulnerability to HIV. It can make it difficult or impossible for them to control their sexual lives, abstain from sex or get their partners to use condoms. Violence, or the threat of it, can also result in women avoiding HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services.

For UNAIDS, this is a major area of concern and its Outcome Framework 2009-11 has stopping violence against women and girls as one of nine priority areas. According to Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, “‘We know that there is a strong relationship between violence against women and HIV. We need to help young people develop the skills for mutual consent in sex and marriage and put an end to violence and sexual coercion. This is key to preventing HIV and to achieving gender equality in all aspects of life.”

Read more here

Thursday, November 5, 2009

UN Secretary-General urges countries to follow the United States and lift travel restrictions for people living with HIV

Geneva/New York, 31 October 2009 — UNAIDS welcomes President Obama’s announcement of the final rule removing entry restrictions based on HIV status from US policy. The removal of HIV-related travel restrictions in the US overturns a policy that had been in place since 1987. Such restrictions, strongly opposed by UNAIDS, are discriminatory and do not protect public health.

“I congratulate President Obama on announcing the removal of the travel restrictions for people living with HIV from entering the United States,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “I urge all other countries with such restrictions to take steps to remove them at the earliest.”

The United Nations Secretary-General has made the removal of stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV a personal issue. He called for the removal of travel restrictions for the first time in his address to the General Assembly during the High Level Meeting on AIDS in 2008. “That they should be discriminated against, including through restrictions on their ability to travel between countries, should fill us all with shame,” said Secretary-General Ban in a speech to the Global AIDS Conference in August last year.

At his request, several countries including his home country, the Republic of Korea, are in the last stages of removing travel restrictions. Other countries that are considering removal of travel restrictions include China and Ukraine. In 2008, the UNAIDS board strongly encouraged all countries to eliminate HIV-specific restrictions on entry, stay and residence and ensure that people living with HIV are no longer excluded, detained or deported on the basis of HIV status.

“Placing travel restrictions on people living with HIV has no public health justification. It is also a violation of human rights,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “We hope that other countries that still have travel restrictions will remove them at the earliest.”

Read more here

UNAIDS welcomes announcement to remove entry restrictions based on HIV status from US policy

"If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it," President Obama said Friday.

Washington DC, 30 October, 2009 — UNAIDS welcomes President Obama’s announcement of the final rule removing entry restrictions based on HIV status from US policy. The removal of HIV-related travel restrictions in the US overturns a policy that had been in place since 1987. Such restrictions, strongly opposed by UNAIDS, are discriminatory and do not protect the public health.

“Today’s announcement reinforces the position of the US as a global leader in HIV policy and practice," said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. “This policy change is a significant step forward by the United States towards promoting human rights in the AIDS response.”

In an earlier rulemaking notice, the US government concluded, “Maintaining HIV infection on the list of excludable conditions for entry into the US would not result in significant public health benefits. Further, this approach is not in line with current international public health practice. This approach continues discriminatory practices and contributes towards the stigmatization of HIV-infected persons.”

The announcement came alongside President Obama’s signature of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009. The Ryan White Program is the largest program dedicated to providing life-saving and life-extending treatment and support services to people living with HIV in the United States.

Read more here

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Global Database on HIV related travel restrictions

There are many countries around the world that restrict the entry, residence and stay of foreigners who are HIV positive. These countries perpetuate stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV by singling out HIV as a “dangerous disease”. This database lists country-by-county how each government of the world does or does not impose these outdated and discriminatory laws. While these restrictions are commonly referred to as “travel restrictions”, the effect these laws have on individuals and families is more serious than this term may imply.

The Global Database on HIV-Related Travel Restrictions is an initiative of the German AIDS Federation, the European AIDS Treatment Group and the International AIDS Society. The Database provides updated information from 196 countries, on existing regulations denying entry or residency for people living with HIV, based on relevant country legislation. Wherever possible the database informs about the mechanisms used in practice, to support implementation and enforcement of HIV-related travel restrictions. It is the successor to earlier information provided on the European AIDS Treatment Group web site.

Read more here

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stand United and Take Action

Dear Stand Up Take Action (SUTA) partners,

The United Nations System in the Philippines is once again inviting you and your organization to participate in this year's Stand Up, Take Action campaign to help achieve the eight (8) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With the theme "Stand United, Fight Poverty", the global campaign will run from 16 to 18 October 2009 and coincide with the annual observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and the Philippines' National Week for Overcoming Extreme Poverty pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 717-2004.

The focus of this year's campaign are the Goals that are least likely to be achieved by 2015, namely, MDG 1: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; MDG 2:achieve universal primary education; MDG 5: improve maternal health and MDG 6: combat HIV/AIDS in particular.

As we are nearing the final stretch to the 2015 MDG deadline, all efforts are geared towards increasing the clamor for policy and programmes change and ensuring that more Filipinos become aware of the significance of these Goals in their everyday life.

Last year, through your help, the campaign successfully mobilized 35.2 million Filipinos through various events and activities - the largest number ever recorded by a country worldwide. This year, we are inviting you again to join this global effort by doing any of the following: 1) Stand Up and Vote for the MDGs by getting your organization members to accomplish the attached "I Vote for the MDGs" survey form and submit to the Stand Up Secretariat on or before 18 October; 2) organize your own Stand United, Fight Poverty event; 3) join our planned events which will be posted in the website. The more people that participate, the louder our message will be to take action now.

For more details, visit http://www.un.org.ph/standup or you may email us at standupphilippines@yahoo.com to get the Stand Up brochure, which you can print, fill up and send to us by fax (632) 901-0404 or by email to standupphilippines@yahoo.com. It would be a great privilege to have you join us and the rest of humanity in this global fight against poverty. Join us, take action and be counted!

Bai Bagasao
UNAIDS Country Coordinator

Sunday, August 23, 2009

RED PARTY - 5 September 2009


(Click poster to enlarge)

Friday, August 14, 2009

HIV transmission in intimate partner relationships in Asia

It is estimated that more than 90% of the 1.7 million women living with HIV in Asia became infected from their husbands or partners while in long-term relationships. By 2008, women constituted 35% of all adult HIV infections in Asia, up from 17% in 1990.

A new report by UNAIDS, its Cosponsors and civil society partners, being released at the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific in Bali, HIV Transmission in Intimate Partner Relationships in Asia, examines the issue of married or in long-term relationships women who are at risk of HIV infection due to their partners’ high-risk behaviours.

The evidence from almost all the countries in Asia indicates that women are acquiring HIV not because of their own sexual behaviours but because of the unsafe behaviours that their partners engage in. The intimate partners of men who have sex with men, injecting drug users or clients of sex workers constitute the largest vulnerable population in Asia.

At least 75 million men regularly buy sex from sex workers in Asia, and a further 20 million men have sex with other men or are injecting drug users. Many of these men are in steady relationships: it is estimated that 50 million women in the region are of risk of acquiring HIV from their partners.

Read more here

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Empowering People, Strengthening Networks" — 9th ICAAP opens

The President of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Hj. Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has officially opened the 9th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP), which this year takes place in Bali, Indonesia from 9-13 August under the theme “Empowering people, strengthening networks”.

At the opening ceremony, Mr JVR Prasada Rao, Director, UNAIDS Regional Support Team, Asia and the Pacific, has delivered a speech on behalf of UNAIDS Executive Director, Mr Michel Sidibé calling for the establishment of enabling environments and supportive social norms necessary to deliver a future generation free of HIV.

The Congress has drawn thousands of people together for five days of discussion around the AIDS response in the Pacific and across Asia. Together they will discuss a wide range of issues and contexts for the AIDS epidemic in these regions including mobility and migration, injecting drug use, human rights as well as gender.

Read more here

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


NGOs engaged in HIV Phone counseling:

Hotline Tel no: 524-0551 (TUESDAY-SATURDAY, 9AM-6PM)

Hotline Tel nos: 525-1743 & 525-1881 (MONDAY-FRIDAY, 9AM-6PM)
for teens only

Friday, July 31, 2009

3 Pinoys getting HIV every day – UNDP

by Kristine Servando

MANILA - The Philippines has seen an "alarming" increase in HIV cases in the past year, especially among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and men who have sex with men (MSM), according to data by the HIV and AIDS Registry of the Department of Health, as cited by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

"Last May, the country had 85 reported cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the highest ever in the country. That's like 3 people a day, more cases than the A (H1N1) virus," said Danton Remoto, UNDP Communications officer, at the country's 1st National Conference on MSM, transgender, and HIV last July 22.

There have been 3,911 HIV cases since 1984, according to Department of Health (DOH) data as of May 2009.

All HIV cases were transmitted through sexual contact, with 36% of cases transmitted through homosexual contact and 89% of cases caused by unprotected sex.

Read more here

M2M 2009: National Conference on MSM/TG and HIV

Organized by TLF Share Collective and Health Action Information Network
With support from United Nations Development Program,
Philippine National AIDS Council and APCOM
22-24 July 2009, Greenhills Elan, San Juan

In the past few years the Philippines has seen a significant increase in the case of HIV transmission among males who have sex with male and transgenders (MSM/TG). Where before the ratio of homo to hetero sexual transmission is 1:3, in 2008 more than 50% of the new case are between males.

Read more HERE.

UN alarmed at rising HIV prevalence in RP

Source: ABS-CBN News

3 Pinoys getting HIV every day - UNDP

Source: Newsbreak
Written by Kristine Servando

The Philippines has seen an "alarming" increase in HIV cases in the past year, especially among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and men who have sex with men (MSM), according to data by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

"Last May, the country had 85 reported cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the highest ever in the country. That's like 3 people a day, more cases than the A (H1N1) virus," said Danton Remoto, UNDP Communications officer, at the country's 1st National Conference on MSM, transgender, and HIV last July 22.

There have been 3,911 HIV cases since 1984, according to Department of Health (DOH) data as of May 2009.

Read mode HERE.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Evidence shows new drug combination combination dramatically reduces mother-to child transmissionof HIV during breastfeeding

According to a new study led by the World Health Organization (WHO), if HIV-positive pregnant women are given a combination of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs from late in pregnancy until six months into breastfeeding, rather than a short course of drugs that ends at delivery, their babies are over 40% less likely to become infected with HIV.

The initial findings of the study, named Kesho Bora, which means ‘a better future’ in Swahili, were presented at the 5th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention taking place in Cape Town, South Africa, 19-22 July. WHO worked in partnership with the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis (ANRS), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the US National Institutes of Health.

Read more here

Monday, July 6, 2009

Join the HIV Red Party in the Philippines

The Red Party Rationale
Medical students across Australia have rallied as part of a nation-wide effort to increase awareness of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a devastating spectrum of disease afflicting an estimated 33 million people across the globe.

To raise awareness, Australian medical students have hosted several fundraising and educational events all around the country. Themed with the color red, the international color for HIV and AIDS, the events have affectionately become known as 'Red Parties'.

Two of these Australian medical students, Patrick Aouad and Zabrina Abdool, from the Australian National University visited the Philippines recently. They saw the plight of our fellowmen, especially those seeking consult at the Philippine General Hospital.

They returned to Australia and proposed that the Adult Infectious Disease section of the Philippine General Hospital be the Red Party’s recipient of a CD4 machine, an indispensable diagnostic tool for people living with HIV/AIDS. Fortunately for us, they were granted this request.

Thus the PHILIPPINE RED PARTY came to be.

We are medical specialists, HIV positive patients, and HIV awareness advocates.

The Philippine Red Party Project will hold a photo exhibit on August 25, 2009 and a benefit rock concert on September 5, 2009, simultaneous with Australia’s Red Party.

Funds raised from these events will enable us to acquire an RT-PCR machine for doing HIV viral loads, to complement the CD4 machine from Australia.

For more information, wisit the Red Party website at www.redparty.20fr.com

Friday, July 3, 2009

PNAC Launches its Official Website

The Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) launched its official website at www.doh.gov.ph/pnac.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yes, we can...

The UNAIDS Outcome Framework
 We can prevent mothers from dying and babies from becoming infected with HIV;
 We can ensure that people living with HIV receive treatment;
 We can prevent people living with HIV from dying of tuberculosis;
 We can protect drug users from becoming infected with HIV;
 We can remove punitive laws, policies, practices, stigma and discrimination that block effective responses to AIDS;
 We can stop violence against women and girls;
 We can empower young people to protect themselves from HIV; and
 We can enhance social protection for people affected by HIV.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

UN Secretary-General Reports on AIDS Progress

16 June 2009

As the HIV response represents one of the soundest of all possible global investments, it is critical that commitiment to HIV efforts be maintained and strengthened in the midst of these economic challenges- Report of the Secretary-General to the 63rd General Assembly.
At the 63rd session of the General Assembly held in New York on 16 June 2009, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon presented a report on the progress made in the implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.

Read more here

UN Secretary-General, World AIDS Campaign and UNAIDS launchWorld AIDS Day theme of ‘Universal Access and Human Rights’

New York, 16 June 2009- Ahead of this year's World AIDS Day, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the World AIDS Campaign and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) have come together to announce the theme of Universal Access and Human Rights.
The theme has been chosen to address the critical need to protect human rights and attain access for all to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. It also acts as a call to countries to remove lwas that discriminate against people living with HIV, women and marginalized groups. Countries are also urged to realize the many commitments they made to protect human rights in the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS (2001) and the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS (2006)
Read more here

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tenders are invited for the Management of UNAIDS Technical Support Facilities

In 2005, UNAIDS established regional Technical Support Facilities (TSF) as independent regional entities to build capacities and provide timely, high-quality and competitively priced technical assistance in support of national AIDS responses. Contracts with the TSF host institutions in (1) Esat Africa (2) Southern Africa (3) West and Central Africa and (4) South East Asia & Pacific come to an end in December 2009. In accordance with procurement policies, UNAIDS is initiating a re-bidding process for identifying potential contractor to manage the TSF in above mentioned regions.
Tender documents must be submitted to registered mail or courier by 31 July 2009, 17:00 GMT
read more here

Friday, May 22, 2009

UNAIDS calls for a virtual elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV by 2015

GENEVA, 21 May 2009 – During the week of the World Health Assembly, UNAIDS’ executive director met with Health Ministers to underscore UNAIDS’ commitment in supporting countries to achieve their universal access goals.

UNAIDS outlined key priority areas in which joint action by the United Nations will make a significant difference to the AIDS response and a positive contribution to the broader development agenda. Realizing results in the identified areas will have a direct impact on halting and reversing the AIDS epidemic.

Many of the priority areas call for urgent and effective actions which save lives including preventing the transmission of HIV from mothers to their children and providing ongoing care and treatment for women, their partners and their children.

Read more here

Thursday, May 21, 2009

UN Secretary-General meets HIV positive UN staff members

Members of UN Plus, UN Secretary-General and the UNAIDS Executive Director gathered for a meeting in Geneva on 20 May 2009. Credit: UNAIDS/P. Virot

The United Nations Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon held a meeting in Geneva with HIV positive UN staff members and the UNAIDS Executive Director. The staff are part of a UN system-wide advocacy group called UN Plus which was set up in 2005 to promote the rights of HIV-positive staff and provide peer support.

Addressing the group, the Secretary-General reiterated his support to UN Plus and acknowledged his pride in the commitment and strength of its members. UN Plus first met with Mr Ban in 2007, a meeting he described as “one of the most moving experiences of my life,” and today’s meeting was an opportunity for the group to update the UN Secretary-General on progress made and to request his continued support.

UN Plus Coordinator Bhatupe Mhango expressed her appreciation for work the Secretary-General has done in advocating for the rights of HIV positive people evidenced by his many meetings with people living with HIV when on official travel around the world.

Read more here

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ASEAN Health Ministers discuss A(H1N1) and AIDS issues

Ministers of Health of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, gathered for an informal meeting on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly (WHA) on 19 May 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The main objective of the meeting was to discuss issues of common interest during the WHA, such as ASEAN’s strategies to address the A(H1N1) flu outbreak and prevent a pandemic as well as to discuss with UNAIDS Executive Director Mr Michel Sidibé strategies to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

Read more here

Saturday, May 16, 2009

2009 AIDS Candlelight in the Philippines

We will blog the ceremonies around the archipelago...

Here's some that we have monitored so far:
Light a Candle Ceremony

DILG exhorts LGUs to support 26th Annual Int'l AIDS Candlelight Memorial on May 15

at Quezon Memorial Circle

Thursday, May 14, 2009

66 New HIV Cases - Highest Ever!

From just 16 per month in 2001-2005, to 28 in 2006-2007, to 44 last year... reported HIV cases in the Philippines now wallops at 60 cases per month in 2009. It recorded 66 new cases for the month of April 2009, the highest ever recorded number in a month.

Forget the terms "low and slow" and "hidden and growing" to describe the HIV epidemic in the Philippines. Clearly, HIV is an exploding epidemic in the country.

Download the April 2009 AIDS Registry Report here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Influenza A(H1N1) and HIV

There are many questions concerning the potential impact of emerging influenza A(H1N1)* on people living with HIV, as they are more susceptible to opportunistic infections.

Read more here.

Download WHO Guidance Note here.

Photo: http://www.unaids.org/

Launch of GOP-UNDP HIV Programme

“Promoting Leadership and Mitigating the Negative Impacts of HIV and AIDS on Human Development”

Wednesday, 6 May 2009, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Ballroom 1, Renaissance Hotel, Makati City 

This programme aims to support leadership and capacity development to strengthen local responses and mitigate the negative impacts on human development of HIV and AIDS. It adopts a modular approach in programming to remain flexible and responsive to a growing epidemic and the needs of the Philippines’ 4th AIDS Medium Term Plan (AMTP-4).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

HIV in the Philippines circa 2009

Excerpts from the HIV in the Philippines Presentation of the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) to the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), at EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last February 2009.

Source: AIDS Registry, January 2009