Seamen urged to get tested for HIV
Alarmed by the rising number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) turning up positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a lawmaker has urged sexually active Filipino seamen to voluntarily undergo testing to safeguard their partners at home in the Philippines and curb the spread of the dreaded disease.
“It is not exactly a secret that many sailors are exceptionally vulnerable to HIV, owing to their easy access to commercial sex services overseas, plus they have the money to pay for it,” said Rep. Arnel Ty of the LPG Marketers Association (LPG-MA) party-list group in Congress.
According to Ty, 77 percent of the HIV-positive OFWs, or 1,488 cases, were males with an average age of 35 years.
“We have reason to believe many of these HIV-positive OFWs may be sailors,” he said.
Ty is one of the authors of House Bill No. 5312 which seeks P400 million to jumpstart a new HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Plan with forceful strategies and definite targets. Cynthia D. Balana
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