According to the Department of Health (DOH) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), there are at least 4 to 5 Filipinos who test positive with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) every day. As of October this year, there are 1,501 OFWs suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Surge in male OFWs with HIV/AIDS
Many of the reported HIV/AIDS cases are from the Filipino migrant male workers’ population. One out of every 4 Filipinos diagnosed HIV positive is an OFW. Seventy-five percent are male workers.
“Yes, because it’s a random sex activity in there and it's casual,” he said.
Criminal liability for HIV carriers
Vice President Jejomar Binay has opined recently that like some countries that have a law spelling out the criminal liability of HIV positive people in certain cases, the Philippines should also have one to prevent the virus from spreading.
One of the major concerns of OFWs is who will finance the fee if AIDS/HIV screening test will be proposed and implemented.
“With the present state of the country's economy, it is far fetched for either the government or the OFWs to share the expenses for the mandatory HIV test,” she said.
Other Filipino workers here disapproved the idea of a mandatory AIDS/HIV test but suggested a more aggressive awareness campaign and support for people with HIV.
“Mandatory HIV/AIDS testing is harsh. The government should instead create sexual health clinics that are accessible for our kababayan and that will offer free consultations, counseling and testing,” he said.