MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED/CORRECTED) – The Department of Health (DOH) has released new data on HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) in the Philippines.
Based on the data released by the DOH and the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry, 7 out of 100 HIV positive are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
This is lower than the data in 2006.
However, the number of OFWs affected may not be accurate since not all HIV/AIDS positive have been documented.
"Paano pa yung mga hindi documented o mga TNT na infected ng HIV-AIDS," said Dr. Chito Avelino, director of the Philippine National AIDS Council Secretariat.
Still, according to the data, of the 160 OFW HIV/AIDS positive, 83% were men and 18% were women.
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) challenged the Philippine government to intensify its campaign against the spread of HIV-AIDS to protect its Filipino workers.
The group said that AIDS preventive education must be included in the seminars that OFWs undergo before leaving the country for work abroad.
“Nakakalungkot ang bilang na ito na tinatamaan ang mga Pinoy ng HIV/AIDS,” said Rafael Mapalo, TUCP National spokesperson.
For its part, the DOH said the campaign to educate OFWs on the use of condoms for protection needs to be strengthened to prevent the disease from further spreading.