A Closer Look at HIV Services for MSM
"Everyday, ten Filipinos infected with HIV” (DOH NEC, March 2012).
This is the reality: The Philippine HIV epidemic. The country is ONE of seven countries that recorded more than 25% increase in the number of new HIV infections.
Beginning 2007, the Philippines reported steep rise in the number of new HIV cases. Ninety percent (90%) of the cases have HIV through sexual contact. However, the cases clearly show the shift from predominantly heterosexual to bisexual and homosexual transmission, and many of them belong to the younger age group.
Philippine HIV epidemic among MSM and PWID
So what happened? After a low prevalence of HIV for more than ten years, since the first AIDS case was reported, the country is now facing an emerging HIV epidemic among men having sex with men (MSM) and the people who inject drugs (PWID).
Do we know who are really infected? Where are the new infections coming from? What behaviours have emerged that brought this current epidemic? Are they accessing health services? Where? What should the country do now?
In the past two years, the World Health Organization (WHO), together with Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), supported the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine National AIDS Council in their pursuit to address the policy issues affecting the implementation of comprehensive HIV programmes for key populations at higher risk.