A lawmaker in Manila has urged returning Filipino migrant workers to undergo tests for HIV as there has been an increase in cases.
According to Aniceto Bertiz, a member of the House of Representatives, a total of 451 Filipino migrant workers were diagnosed with HIV from January to June this year, a 14.4% increase compared with the 394 cases during the same six-month period last year, the Manila Bulletin reported.
Bertiz said of the 56,275 cases recorded from January 1984 to June this year, 5,889 were Filipino migrant workers. “All told, Filipino migrant workers with HIV now account for 10% of all cases in the National HIV and AIDS Registry,” Bertiz said.
Of the 5,889 Filipino migrant workers who were diagnosed with HIV, 86%, or 5,063, were male with an average age of 32.
Bertiz said the Department of Health has 60 HIV treatment hubs across the Philippines and 33 primary care facilities that provide outpatient care services to returning migrant workers and other citizens living with the virus.
“We would urge Filipino migrant workers who believe that they engaged in high-risk sexual behavior in the past to get themselves tested for HIV,” Bertiz said.