HIV-positive OFWs could surpass 7,000 mark in 2019– ACTS-OFW
MANILA, Philippines – The ACTS-OFW Coalition of Organizations warned that the number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who have acquired the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) could likely exceed the 7,000 mark in 2019.
The group urged OFWs who suspect they might be HIV-positive to have themselves tested.
“The cumulative number of OFWs confirmed as HIV-positive could reach more than 7,200 by the end of the year, at the rate new cases are being discovered,” ACTS-OFW chairman Aniceto Bertiz III said in a statement on Sunday, September 15.
ACTS-OFW has raised the alarm on the rising number of HIV-positive OFWs early this year.
The group has said that from January to May alone, there were 444 new cases of HIV-positive OFWs, up 21 percent from the 369 recorded in the same period in 2018.
“We would urge returning OFWs who suspect that they may have acquired HIV while working abroad to get themselves tested and treated early, so that they can continue to live economically productive and healthy lives,” Bertiz said.
OFWs now represent 10 percent of the aggregate 67,395 confirmed cases listed in the National HIV/AIDS Registry as of May, he added. – Rappler.com