THE Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) are among the major problems plaguing Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) including seamen today.
A recent report by the Department of Health said 178 cases have been recorded for the month of June this year – a 63 percent increase considered to be the highest for 2011. Only 109 cases were reported in the same month of last year.
Of the 178 cases, 22 were found to be from OFWs with 18 of them males and most of them seamen or sea-based personnel.
All of these 22 OFW cases were acquired through heterosexual intercourse with 10, bisexual contact with seven, and homosexual intimacy with five. Given the new cases reported, there are now 1,016 Filipino HIV victims and 18 full-blown AIDS cases in the first five months of 2011.
Because of this concern, HIV/AIDS has been listed among the priority topics to be tackled on in the 1st International Seafarers Family Convention and Exhibit on August 4-5 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.