Tracking HIV trends in a low prevalence country signals change in the epidemic (Philippines, 2009)
Presented by Genesis May Samonte (Philippines).
G.M. Samonte1, N. Palaypayon1, E. Telan2, A. Segarra1, E. Tayag1
1National Epidemiology Center, Department of Health, Manila, Philippines, 2SACCL, National HIV Reference Laboratory, Department of Health, San Lazaro Hospital, Manila, Philippines
Background: The Philippines is a low HIV prevalence
country with few new cases being either
migrant workers or female sex workers (FSW).
Until 2007, less than 350 new cases were reported annually to the
National HIV Registry. The 2005 and 2007 National Integrated HIV Behavioral and
Serologic Surveillance (IHBSS) also showed very low HIV prevalence among the
most-at-risk populations (MARP). In
2008, new cases increased to 528. This alerted the Department of Health to
determine if the Philippine HIV epidemic was changing.
Methods: IHBSS was done in 23 major
cities in the Philippines. Simple random sampling was used for FSW in
registered establishments (RFSW), time location sampling for freelance FSW (FFSW)
and males having sex with males (MSM), and respondent driven sampling for
injecting drug users (IDU). Serologic
samples were tested for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis C.
Results: 14,976 respondents
of HIV prevention increased but risky behaviour remained high. Condom use during
last sex was 72% (RFSW), 62% (FFSW), and 22% (MSM, IDU). 14% of MARPs brought a condom. Up to 82% shared needles. Serologic prevalence is shown in Table 1. In
one site, HIV positive FFSW and MSM were also IDU.
[Prevalence of HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis C]
|MARP||n||HIV (%)||Syphilis (%)||Hepatitis C (%)|
|Registered FSW||5,322||0.13||0.36||0.0 (only one site)|
|Freelance FSW||4,154||0.39||2.41||20.9 (only one site)|
|MSM||4,542||0.99||2.09||7.9 (only one site)|
Conclusions: The HIV epidemic in
the Philippines has changed. The 2009
IHBSS revealed MSM and IDU had the highest risk for HIV infection. The low HIV infection
among RFSW may be due to access to strong prevention programs. Results are being used to strengthen programs and redirect national and local response strategies to halt HIV transmission.
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