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HIV-Positive OFWs
« on: May 26, 2018, 02:56:28 AM »
Lone District of Iligan City
Vice Chair, Committee on Tourism
Member, Appropriations, Economic Affairs, and 8 other committees                                                                   
Facebook: /congressmansiao Twitter: @freddiesiao 0917-729-2437                                                                 

Last January 78. Last February 72. Last March 80. So for the first three months or first quarter of 2018, 230 OFWs have tested positive for HIV. 

If the monthly average of 76 for 2018 so far will persist, the country might have 912 OFWs testing positive for HIV and that will surpass the 811 cases recorded for the whole year of 2017. 

I am therefore recommending to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and the top officials of POEA and OWWA to equip our departing OFWs with effective anti-HIV-AIDS safety modules to make them very aware of how they can avoid getting infected.

The labor attaches and welfare officers overseas must also be trained and equipped to respond to OFWs in HIV-AIDS situations.

Specific protocols must be in place to address cases wherein they get infected as result of sexual abuse and because of the need to fill the loneliness in another country. 



139 HIV-positive this year in Region 11; 2,459 since Jan 2013 

As a Mindanaoan, another matter I am deeply concerned about is the spread of HIV-AIDS in Mindanao.

The most recent DOH data indicate that the Davao Region is now among the top 5 regions where HIV-AIDS is rampant. This year, 139 tested positive from January to March. Since January 2013, 2,459 people were found to have HIV-AIDS in Region 11.

Over here in Region X, the region DOH data for 2017 show that 294 were found to have HIV-AIDS and 34 of them were already showing symptoms of AIDS while 260 were not yet manifesting signs or were asymptomatic. Of that 294, 108 were in the 15 to 24 age group while 138 were aged 25 to 34. 

Fortunately, there were no kids younger than 15 among the 294, but there were 8 who were 50 years and older. 

We need the new HIV-AIDS program as embodied in the two pending consolidated bills in Congress. 

Dapat bigyang prayoridad ng mga LGU sa Mindanao ang kampanya laban sa HIV-AIDS. Huwag nawang ipagwalang-bahala ito dahil mabilis itong kumalat at damay ang maraming pamilya.

Asikasuhin sana ng mga barangay chairman, kagawad, mga mayor, vice mayor at konsehal ang HIV-AIDS epidemic. Makipag-ugnayan sila sa DOH, regional hospital, at HIV testing centers sa Region 11.

It is also imperative that reproductive health and anti-HIV-AIDS programs be implemented at the barangays and at workplaces. 

People also need to know where they can get testing for HIV when they are engaged in unsafe sex or sharing needles as injecting drug users. They must be tested before the symptoms appear so as to improve their chances of having a longer life because of treatment.  (END)

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