By Veronica Uy
Thirty-five percent of HIV and AIDS cases in the Philippines are from overseas Filipino workers, Senator Pia Cayetano said in a statement Saturday.
"Around 35 percent of our HIV cases have been traced to returning OFWs. Unfortunately, some of them come home bringing in not only their hard-earned dollars, but also the HIV they acquire from having unprotected sex abroad,” said the chairperson of the Senate committee on health and demography.
Cayetano said the rising number of cases of human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in the country should be a cause for concern for the Arroyo government.
"It should serve as a wake-up call. The government should ditch its one-track mind policy of promoting natural family planning methods only, in favor of a program that would address the population problem as well as the spread of sexually transmitted diseases," she said.
Cayetano said that the Department of Health should not only focus on controlling the spread of documented local HIV/AIDS cases, but also how to prevent cases of HIV infection being caused by returning OFWs.