HIV/AIDS

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The public read various news on HIV/AIDS this year. Members of Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines staged a rally at the DOH Central Office over the exorbitant prices of anti-retroviral or anti-HIV drugs early in March. The members called on the Secretary of Health to lower the prices of the said medicines that reportedly delay and suppress the ravages of HIV that causes AIDS. (Malaya, Mar. 6)

A study by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine showed policemen in Baguio, Cebu and Davao getting afflicted with chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, which experts attributed to extramarital affairs, multiple sex partners, low condom usage and early exposure to sex. (Philippine Star, Mar. 26)

The WHO reported that 70% of tuberculosis (TB) patients in developing countries like the Philippines are also carriers of HIV. Experts said that HIV weakens the immune system and makes people highly vulnerable to diseases such as TB. According to WHO statistics, nearly two-thirds of all people suffering from HIV/AIDS are living in countries with the highest TB burden in the world. (Manila Standard, April. 11)

A group of individuals who were diagnosed with HIV and who have formed an organization for themselves known as Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. called on President Macapagal-Arroyo to provide them with jobs to sustain their lives and of their families. They made the appeal amid an impending depletion of supplies provided by non-government organizations for the patients’ daily medical needs. (Manila Times, May 3)

Iloilo health authorities resorted to detaining individuals who tested positive for HIV/AIDS to make sure that they get proper treatment. (Manila Times, May 29)

The AIDS warning now covered lesbians as well as local health experts revealed that although HIV/AIDS has been known to be transmitted through sexual contact, blood transfusion and injecting needles, it could also be acquired through the vagina-to-mouth route. Experts said that vaginal secretions are known to be highly concentrated with the HIV virus, so individuals who engage into such activities and whose mouths happened to have lesions or cuts are at risk of contracting the disease. (Malaya, May 31)

Couples who are raring to get married and arriving Overseas Filipino Workers would soon be subjected to an HIV/AIDS test once a bill filed in Congress, by Zamboanga del Norte Representative Roseller Barinaga who believes that it is only through blood testing that AIDS could be addressed, gets approved. (Bandera, July 23)

An American Jesuit said it is morally acceptable for sexual partners to use condoms if only to prevent them from contracting HIV/AIDS. What the Catholic Church is against is the use of condom as contraceptive, Fr. James Keenan, who teaches theology at the Ateneo de Manila University’s Loyola School of Theology, said. (PD Inquirer, July 8)

Thirteen suspected sex workers were rounded up by Central Police District’s cops during a search for two alleged HIV carriers roaming in the city. (Manila Times, Aug 12)

Military sources said that Abu Sayyaf leader Mujib Susukan has been infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS. Susukan reportedly got the infection from one of the 21 mostly foreign hostages whom his group kidnapped from Sipadan island off Sabah on April 23 last year. (Phil. Star, Aug. 29)

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