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Prevalence

Officially, the Philippines is a low-HIV-prevalence country, with less than 0.1 percent of the adult population estimated to be HIV-positive. As of September 2008, the Department of Health (DOH) AIDS Registry in the Philippines reported 3,456 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA)- http://www.plwha.org . UNAIDS estimates that 12,000 Filipinos were HIV-positive by the end of 2005.[1]

Means of transmission

Up until 2007, heterosexual intercourse accounted for the majority (61 percent) of the Philippines’ reported HIV/AIDS cases, followed in descending order by homosexual and bisexual relations, mother-to-child transmission, contaminated blood and blood products, and injecting drug use, according to UNAIDS, with men comprising 66 percent of reported cases. However, in 2007 the proportion was reversed, with homosexual and/or bisexual modes of infection surpassing heterosexual transmission — 56% versus 43%, with the figure rising to 67% for the January to September 2008 period, as against 34%.

Overseas workers from the Philippines (e.g., seafarers, domestic helpers, etc.) account for 30-35 percent of all HIV/AIDS cases in the country.

At-risk groups

Most-at-risk groups include men who have sex with men (MSM), with 395 new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among within this group from January to September 2008 alone, 96% up from 2005’s 210 reported infections. A spokesperson of the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) of the Department of Health says that the sudden and steep increase in the number of new cases within the MSM community, particularly in the last three years (309 cases in 2006, and 342 in 2007), is “tremendously in excess of what (is) usually expected,” allowing classification of the situation as an “epidemic“. Of the cumulative total of 1,097 infected MSMs from 1984 to 2008, 49% were reported in the last three years (72% asymptomatic); 108 have died when reported, and slightly more MSMs were reportedly already with AIDS (28%).[2]

Among MSM’s, ninety percent of the newly infected are single (up to 35% of past cases reported involved overseas Filipino workers or OFWs and/or their spouse), with the most of the affected people now only 20 to 34 years old (from 45 to 49 years old in the past). The highest number of infections among MSMs is from Metro Manila, though increasing infection rates were also noted in the cities of Angeles, Cebu, and Davao.[2] 1 to 3 percent of MSM’s were found to be HIV-positive by sentinel surveillance conducted in Cebu and Quezon cities in 2001.

National risk profile

Several factors put the Philippines in danger of a broader HIV/AIDS epidemic. They include increasing population mobility within and outside of the Philippine islands; a conservative culture, adverse to publicly discussing issues of a sexual nature; rising levels of sex work, casual sex, unsafe sex, and injecting drug use.[1]

There is also high STI prevalence and poor health-seeking behaviors among at-risk groups; gender inequality; weak integration of HIV/AIDS responses in local government activities; shortcomings in prevention campaigns; inadequate social and behavioral research and monitoring; and the persistence of stigma and discrimination, which results in the relative invisibility of PLWHA. Lack of knowledge about HIV among the Filipino population is troubling. Approximately two-thirds of young women lack comprehensive knowledge on HIV transmission, and 90 percent of the population of reproductive age believe you can contract HIV by sharing a meal with someone.[1]

The Philippines has high tuberculosis (TB) incidence, with 131 new cases per 100,000 people in 2005, according to the World Health Organization. HIV infects 0.1 percent of adults with TB. Although HIV-TB co-infection is low, the high incidence of TB indicates that co-infections could complicate treatment and care for both diseases in the future.[1]

National response

Wary of nearby Thailand’s growing epidemic in the late 1980s, the Philippines was quick to recognize its own sociocultural risks and vulnerabilities to HIV/AIDS. Early responses included the 1992 creation of the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC), the country’s highest HIV/AIDS policymaking body. Members of the Council represent 17 governmental agencies, including local governments and the two houses of the legislature; seven nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); and an association of PLWHA.[1]

The passing of the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act in 1998 was also a landmark in the country’s fight against HIV/AIDS. However, the Philippines is faced with the challenge of stimulating government leadership action in a low-HIV-prevalence country to advocate for a stronger and sustainable response to AIDS when faced with other competing priorities. One strategy has been to prevent STIs in general, which are highly prevalent in the country.[1]

The PNAC developed the Philippines’ AIDS Medium Term Plan: 2005–2010 (AMTP IV). The AMTP IV serves as a national road map toward universal access to prevention, treatment, care, and support, outlining country-specific targets, opportunities, and obstacles along the way, as well as culturally appropriate strategies to address them. In 2006, the country established a national monitoring and evaluation system, which was tested in nine sites and is being expanded. Antiretroviral treatment is available free of charge, but only 10 percent of HIV-infected women and men were receiving it as of 2006, according to UNAIDS.[1]

The Government of the Philippines participates in international responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Most recently, in January 2007, the Philippines hosted the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit, which had a special session on HIV/AIDS.[1]

The Philippines is a recipient of three grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (2004 third round, 2006 fifth round, and 2007 sixth round) to scale up the national response to HIV/AIDS through the delivery of services and information to at-risk populations and PLWHA.[1]

Condom controversy

In 2010, then Philippine Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral said the Philippine government had stopped allocating funds for condoms due to church pressure, a move that Secretary Cabral opposed.[3] Catholic bishops helped build opposition in Congress to block a reproductive health bill that they said promoted sex education and artificial contraceptives.[3]

Dr. Rene Bullecer of AIDS Free Philippines criticized the use of condoms as “not the appropriate solution to the rising HIV cases” He said that “the distribution of condoms is even a form of discrimination against women, particularly those working in bars, because ‘it’s as if the government is branding all of them as prostitutes.'”[4] Dr. Bullecer blames Thailand’s 100% Condom Use campaign for having brought about its condition as one of the worst hit countries in terms of the epidemic, while the Philippines which has persisted in not doing the same has a low incidence.[5] [6]

Dr. Bernardo Villegas cites the work of Dr. Edward C. Green, Director of Harvard’s AIDS Prevention Center to say that more condoms promote the spread of AIDS. Green said that according to the “best studies,” condoms makes people take wilder sexual risks, thus worsening the spread of the disease. Green showed that fidelity and abstinence are the best solutions to the AIDS epidemic.[7]

Statistical accuracy controversy

Although the Philippines is officially a low HIV incidence country, the media often reports that the Philippine government has concealed the extent of the HIV/AIDS problem. Until now it is increasing.[8]

Findings in 2009 showed an increase in the infection rate.[9]

Moral response

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The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (February 2012)

Jason Evert, an international chastity speaker, spoke in Manila and said that the low incidence of AIDS in the country, which baffled UN officers as hard to explain, is due to morality, a category that evades UN officials.

Prolife people refer to the solution to AIDS that Edward Green of Harvard’s AIDS Prevention Center, which focused on fidelity to one’s spouse and to abstinence until marriage, both include moral categories, which are human and humane.

The CBCP has continually encouraged a moral response. It said in In the Compassion of Jesus, A Pastoral Letter on AIDS:

The “safe-sex” proposal would be tantamount to condoning promiscuity and sexual permissiveness and to fostering indifference to the moral demand as long as negative social and pathological consequences can be avoided.
We cannot emphasize enough the necessity of holding on to our moral beliefs regarding love and human sexuality and faithfully putting them into practice. All these, in order to prevent the spread of the disease and to provide the foundations for effective and compassionate pastoral care for those afflicted.
Among these moral beliefs is the beauty, mystery and sacredness of God’s gift of human love. It reflects the very love of God, faithful, and life-giving. This marvelous gift is also a tremendous responsibility. For sexual love must be faithful, not promiscuous. It must be committed, open to life, life-long and not casual. This is why the full sexual expression of human love is reserved to husband and wife within marriage.
Monogamous fidelity and chastity within marriage–these are ethical demands, flowing from human love as gift and responsibility for the married.

Campaigns

Photographer Niccolo Cosme launched the Red Whistle campaign in 2011, inspired by red disaster preparedness whistles, to raise awareness and understanding of HIV/AIDs in the Philippines.

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Good at bad news sa mga Pilipino na nais magtrabaho sa ibang bansa.

Isang panukalang batas ang inihain sa Kamara de Representantes na naglalayong madagdagan ang pondo na magagamit sa agarang pagpapauwi ng mga magigipit na overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).

Ngunit sa ilalim ng House Bill (HB) No. 6195 na inihain ni Manila Rep. Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David, ang pondo ay manggagaling sa kontribusyon ng mismong mga Pinoy na nais makipagsapalaran sa ibang bansa.

Nakasaad sa panukalang batas na kailangan magbigay ng kontribusyon ang mga aalis na OFW ng $50 sa Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) na ilalaan naman sa Emergency Repatriation Fund.

“The bill intends to provide the necessary measures for the government to carry out its responsibilities to assist distressed OFWs in cases of war, epidemic, disaster or calamities, natural or man-made, and other similar events, and promote their general welfare,” paliwanag ng kongresista.

Aamyendahan ng panukalang batas ang Republic Act 8042 o ang Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, upang mailagay ang probisyon na nagtatakda sa mga aalis na OFW na magbigay ng $50 para sa Emergency Repatriation Fund ng OWWA.

Sa kasalukuyan, nagbibigay ng $25 OWWA contribution ang mga umaalis na OFW.

Naniniwala si Bonoan-David na hindi sapat ang kasalukuyang pondo na nakapaloob sa Emergency Repatriation Fund na nilikha sa ilalim ng RA 8042, at pinamamahalaan ng OWWA.

“There are millions of OFWs all over the world which the Philippine government is mandated to protect and safeguard under RA 8042 but it seems incapable to efficiently help distressed OFWs due to financial constraints,” paliwanag niya.

Itinatakda rin sa HB 6195 ang pagbuo ng up-to-date database at locator system, disaster preparedness at mitigation measures para sa mabilis na paglilikas sa mga OFW.

Ang mga OFW ay maaaring ilikas kapag ang lugar na kinaroroonan nila ay may digmaan, epidemiya, kalamidad, at iba pang mapanganib na sitwasyon. – RP/FRJ, GMA News

If this amendment would be approved, it would be an additional burden to millions of Overseas Filipino Workers who are already contributing so much for the Philippine Economy. We, the OFWs around the world, the one they called Modern day Heroes, are actually their Modern day Milking cows!

here is the petition page, http://www.change.org/petitions/ofws-oppose-50-additional-fee-for-owwa-repatriation-fund-stop-the-amendment-of-republic-act-8042-of-rep-ma-theresa-bonoan-david?fb_action_ids=4216423328071&fb_action_types=change-org%3Arecruit&fb_ref=__hlSfgSwrsB&fb_source=other_multiline

Better DON’T VOTE That Congresswomen this coming 2013 election.

Every money earn of every OFW they need to sacrifice their self for the sake of their family and sometimes they only low salary rate then if the bill will pass what will happen. Congresswomen are you STUPID? to create that kind of bill? try to work as OFW and then you can experience how difficult to work abroad and sometimes their boss or employer they tread them bad, you need to think 1st before creating that STUPID BILL.

How about instead you create that BILL create a a certain bill for additional taxes for SIN TAX because very filipino died because of the cigarette and instead creating that STUPID BILL create some additional project or lesser the Pork barrel. The taxes of every Filipino people and consider the taxes gain from OFW, you don’t have your salary as congresswomen in manila..

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The result of this fight convey a strong message for us Filipinos. Manny and Jessica Sanchez are just a messenger. It only shows how the “powerfuls” can alter the decision, the TRUTH; but Filipinos no matter how humble nation as we are, there’s still people like Manny motivating us to fight (with God’s help) for success and truth.

1) Rich Filipinos, business tycons: I am appealing to you not to do the same with your “kababayans”. Please stop contractualization, discourage OFW system (instead create avenues for decent permanent jobs) – there’s many intelligent, talented and good Filipinos forced to work abroad. We have rich natural resources for us to develop. Please stop corruption, selfishness; and start thinking for the good of others. Share your blessings.

2) Authorities, politicians: Please become a true public servant. China and other big nations will continuously bullying us, if you our leaders will do the same.

3) Filipinos: Please bring your trust to our government, love, serve and be honest with your employers.

If this will happen 10 years from now, we will be considered as “strong and powerful nation”, like Israel – Jesus’ kababayans.

God bless!

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By Paul Magno

From the moment that Timothy Bradley was announced as the split decision winner over Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Saturday night, shock waves of anger and outrage have blasted through cyberspace.

From Twitter to Facebook to countless online message boards, the world has been abuzz with talk of, perhaps, the most egregiously bad decision in the controversial world of professional boxing.

To refresh memories, Manny Pacquiao, in defense of his WBO welterweight title, seemingly dominated an overmatched Timothy Bradley with relative ease, garnering a 118-110 score on this writer’s scorecard and no less than 116-112 in every reputable expert’s estimation.

The decision seemed a mere formality as thoughts of Manny’s next opponent began to enter into the public discourse. Then, the scores were read:

Judges C.J. Ross and Duane Ford scored the fight 115-113 for Bradley while Jerry Roth saw Pacquiao taking the bout by the same 115-113 margin.

The outrage immediately spread throughout the boxing community and various conspiracy theories began to emerge as a way to explain how such an apparently one-sided bout could be scored so oddly.

The media rushed to try and understand the ruling and make some sense of the situation while fans were, literally, stunned by the outcome.

Some fans and members of the media took matters into their own hands and chose to begin online petitions.

One such petition, started by Keith Terceira, has gone viral, already garnering close to 8,000 virtual signatures at the time this article is being written.

Posted on Change.org, the petition aims to have the decision from Saturday night’s bout overturned and the judges investigated.

“This is important to restore the semblance of fairness and honesty in the sport of boxing,” Terceira writes. “These judges should be investigated and suspended. The WBO should be asked to review the films and set the record straight or lose what little credibility the sanctioning bodies retain.”

The petition encourages fans from all over the world to vote and make their protests heard by the governor of Nevada as well as the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

To sign the petition to overturn the decision of Pacquiao-Bradley, you can click HERE.

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Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.

Source:

Change.org, The Governor of NV: Overturn Judges Decision Regarding Pacquiao – Bradley Bout

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Sapa-AFP | 27 May, 2012 15:31

The bodies of children whom anti-government protesters say were killed by government security forces lie on the ground in Huola, near Homs May 26, 2012. A Syrian artillery barrage killed more than 90 people, including dozens of children, in the worst violence since the start of a U.N. peace plan to staunch the flow of blood from Syria’s uprising, activists said on Saturday. The bloodied bodies of children, some with their skulls split open, were shown in footage posted to YouTube purporting to show the victims of the shelling in the central town of Houla on Friday. The sound of wailing filled the room.

“In total, 13 004 people were killed,” Abdel Rahman said, adding that 9 183 of them were civilians.

Another 3 072 were regime troops and 749 were army defectors, he added, noting that civilians who had taken up arms during the increasingly militarised revolt were being counted under the category of “civilians.”

The violence has been relentless despite an April 12 ceasefire brokered by UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan.

“Since the ceasefire came into effect, 1 881 people have been killed,” said Abdel Rahman, referring to clashes between rebels and regime troops, repression by government forces and bomb attacks.

The Observatory’s latest figures were published a day after at least 92 people, a third of them children, were killed in Houla, a town in the flashpoint central province of Homs.

Abdel Rahman said the international community had to “react” to the burgeoning violence and said the UN observer mission deployed under Annan’s peace plan had arrived too late at Houla despite being warned of the violence.

“Why didn’t the UN observers go to the site as soon as the attack was announced?” he asked. “If the world does not react after the Houla massacre, that would be a catastrophe.”

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