Number of HIV-positive OFWs up by 73% in 2011, 166 cases recorded from January to July alone

( About 166 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been afflicted with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from January to July this year, reports ABS-CBN News. The number is a 73-percent increase compared to the 96 diagnosed cases last year.

In a GMA News report, Rep. Arnel Ty explained that commercial sex was more available abroad. "OFWs are exceptionally at risk of acquiring HIV. Once they are exposed to foreign cultures, they tend to be more sexually active and put their guard down," Ty said. HIV can be transmitted via transfer of bodily fluids, blood transfusion, and pregnancy, among other ways.

With new technology, however, HIV is easily treated, reports ABS-CBN News. Dr. Edsel Salvana of the Philippine General Hospital said, "Mas mabuti at mas maganda ang response sa treatment kung wala pang nararamdaman ang isang taong may HIV at masimulan na namin ang gamit (The response to treatment is better if we handle it before the infected experience the symptoms)."

For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBN News and GMA News.


Click on the screencap to watch ABS-CBN’s report on the increased number of HIV-positive OFWs

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