697 OFWs Infected With HIV in 2018

Close to 700 Filipinos working abroad were infected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus in the first nine months of 2018, data from the Department of Health revealed.

The DOH’s Epidemiology Bureau said 697 OFWs deployed across different countries were tested positive for the virus, which causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

In the DOH report:

  • 83 OFWs were diagnosed in September 2018. There were 73 male and 10 female.
  • Among the female OFWs diagnosed in September 2018, one diagnosed case was from 15-24 age group, four cases were from the 25-34 and five were from 35-49 age groups.
  • The age range of HIV-infected female OFWs was 22 to 49 years old, with median age of 35 years old.
  • The ages of male OFWs ranged from 23 to 67 years (median: 32 years) while 55 percent of the cases belonged to the 25-34 year age group.
  • Almost all of those who tested positive in September were infected through sexual contact (23 male-female sex, 38 male-male sex, and 21 sex with both males and females).
  • A total of 6,135 OFWs had tested positive for HIV/AIDS since 1984 until September 2018. Of this number, 5,280 were male (83 percent) and 855 were female.
  • Majority of the male cases (71 percent) were infected through sexual contact among MSM (2,176 male-male sex and 1,586 sex with both males and females).
  • The ages of male OFWs ranged from 16 to 80 years (median: 32 years). Among female OFWs, ages ranged from 20 to 73 years (median: 34 years old).