Positive Pinoy: my personal journey with HIV.

I was diagnosed last March 29, 2012 in a time that I was supposed to leave the country in a couple more weeks. I had my medical exam, and the result returned POSITIVE. From then on, my journey with HIV began.

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What's New?: gateway to useful links on local and international news and updates about HIV.

A summary collection of medical articles, research news, and science breakthroughs on HIV/AIDS, STIs, and other related diseases.

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HIV 101: Basic information for the newly-diagnosed.

Understand the basics, know the facts, and take care of yourself. This section contains basic information about HIV/AIDS.

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Social Media: going viral against HIV/AIDS and other STIs.

The entrance of social media in spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS has gone viral. Famous personalities and the common man alike showed their support not just to HIV education but also with regards to the lives and struggles of the LGBT community.

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Health Events: listing of wellness and advocacy events for HIV-positive individuals and friends.

This section contains a summary listing of knowledge-sharing events on HIV, mass HIV testing, and other wellness events that will strengthen the overall health of HIV-positive individuals.

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76) Punishment for discrimination (Inquirer.net)

Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV

MANILA - A bill that seeks to prohibit and penalize discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, civil status, HIV status and other medical condition, among others, has been filed at the Senate.

In filing Senate Bill 2122, neophyte Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV noted that while the Philippines was a signatory to numerous international agreements that seek to ensure respect for the human rights of all persons, some sectors continue to experience discrimination in schools, workplaces, public service, as well as commercial establishments.

“Unfortunately, reality has yet to catch up with the noble intetnions of these numerous laws and international agreements,” Aquino said in his explanatory note of the bill.

“In schools, workplaces, commercial establishments, public service, police and military, prejudicial practices and policies based on sexual orientation, gender and cultural identity limit the exercise and enjoyment of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as impede or delay the delivery of basic services,” he said.

He cited, for instance, the employment practices that prioritize single over married job applicants “despite the fact that there is no empirical link between a person’s civil status and his or her job performance.”

He also noted the continues oppression against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community continues “primarily because of misconceptions and ignorance.”

“LGBT students, for instance, are refused admission or expelled from schools due to their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said the senator.

“Companies block the promotion of LGBT employees due to the deeply embedded notion that homosexuality is an indication of weakness,” he said.

Aquino said laws, such as the anti-vagrancy law, were also being abused by law enforcement agencies to harass gay men.

His proposed measure then seeks to prohibit and prohibit discrimination that is “indirectly or directly based on the actual or perceived ethnicity, race, religion or belief, political inclination, social class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, civil status, HIV status and other medical condition.”

The bill considered unlawful discriminatory acts such as inflicting stigma; denial of political, civil, and cultural rights; denial of right to education; denial of right to work; denial of access to goods and services; denial of right to organize; inflicting harm on health and well-being; engaging in profiling; abuses by state and non-state actors; detention and confinement; and other analogous circumstances.

Under “denial of right to work,” the bill declares it unlawful for any person to deny employment in government institutions, including police and military service, based on the bill’s definition of discrimination.

The Commission on Human Rights, under the bill, should investigate and recommend the filing of a complaint against any person/s who would violate the proposed law.

Any person who would be found guilty of discriminatory practices as defined by the bill could face up to 12 years imprisonment or/and a fine of up to P250,000.

Source: Maila Ager, Inquirer.net, April 18, 2014

75) The Aware Advocacy Video

This is a really great video from The Brusko Pink Republic featuring celebrities/HIV advocates. :-)

74) Common Relationship Mistakes Gay Men Make (Revolutionary Gay Magazine)

Common Relationship Mistakes Gay Men Make
(source: Revolutionary Gay Magazine)

Straight, Gay, LGBT We all want to have a great relationship but some of us just don’t know how to keep one. Here are some common mistakes Gay men make in relationships.

1. Open Relationships: While we may want to live interesting and experimental lives, the biggest mistake a Gay couple can make is having an open one. You would assume that what you have is enough to make it work, but when you feel like you need more than what you have, it borders problems. You and your partner risk the trouble of falling in love with someone else, having chemistry he might prefer over yours, or risk putting the whole relationship out to dry. While threesomes may be a bit more optional, Open relationships just don’t seem to be the way to go about things and is probably the number one reason Gay relationships don’t work. Sometimes when a relationship doesn't work its time to move on. Don’t recycle something you’re not going to use again and use OPEN as an excuse. 

2. Neediness: A common relationship mistake Gay men make is attaching themselves too much and too quickly. Even twins born together have their own ways of being independent. It is not your partner’s fault if you have had issues in the past with other people or family and it is not his job to pick up the pieces. While there is nothing wrong with loving hard, a Gay man must always learn to have his own voice, his own identity and his own life. If you worry too much about latching on, you run the risk of pushing your partner away.

3. Arguing: No relationship is perfect, and we all argue and disagree sooner or later. But arguing about everything can be very toxic. Stop using excuses about how “Strong" & “Independent" you are to win a fight. Respect boundaries, respect each other and respect space and opinions. While he may not say everything you want to hear, learn to listen and learn to understand. After all, you picked him right? Don’t say anything you’re going to regret later. Sometimes words hurt more than sticks and stones and sometimes saying things in the heat of the moment can result in losing someone you truly love. If it’s not important, let it go. If it’s something you can’t control, learn to vocalize your concerns and learn to keep it to the point. If you are hitting a brick wall, analyze your relationship and make a decision whether he is right for you. But never destroy your relationship with words. 

4. Being With Someone For Comfort (Money, Favors, Apartment): While there is no problem moving in with your boyfriend or sharing an account or money, there is a fine line between sharing and taking more than he wants to give. Don’t get in a relationship because you need stability and he’s your safety net. Learn to work for your own, earn your own and have your own things. There’s nothing worse than having a break-Up and you having to be out on the street because everything belongs to him. While some men may seem amazing at first, you quickly find out they may be using you as well. Be with someone because you love them, not because they can give you something of luxury. 

5. Going to the club together: While many may disagree, this is probably the most common mistake a Gay man can make. A club is never a place to spend quality time with your boyfriend. While it may seem innocent and fun, Clubs involve alcohol and a bunch of hot guys (depending on what club you go to). And while you may say that your eyes are only for him, and his for you, there is a lot of distraction and a lot of men who are not afraid to flirt hardcore. Some men go to clubs just to find a man to fuck. If you are not there to hook up do not pretend like its for the music. Unfortunately, in the Gay community there are people who don’t respect what you have and while its all about trust, I don’t think you want to complicate it by having a guy shake his ass in front of you. A small bar or a more loungy upscale place is more convenient. You don’t have to worry about going to the bathroom and leaving your cameraphone on.   

6. Putting Your Relationship Status on FB: You might be that guy who feels like your boyfriend should definitely change his relationship status on FB to prove his love, but this may harm you more than it works for you. Why? Because you or your boyfriend may notice that your friend requests keep growing only because people want to know who this guy is. Some guys don’t care and will hit on your boyfriend even if it says In Relationship. Don’t ask me why they’re like this, but its a fact. Also, you may get upset when these sudden mutual friends leave innuendos or comments on your boyfriends timeline, assuming your stupid enough not to notice. While anyone would assume its all about trust, like the club, some men just have no respect or dignity. Some men are more attracted to what they can’t have or will do things to spite you. So prepare yourself. Sometimes its better to just not put up a relationship status to begin with and just trust your partner. Its up to you.

7. Not Allowing Your Boyfriend To Go Out With Friends: You’re his boyfriend not his master. The biggest mistake a Gay man can do is think he can control his boyfriend. While a lot of Gay couples don’t mind being on a leash and it works for them, some people just need space. This is where trust really comes in. If you feel like you can’t trust your boyfriend enough with any of his friends, then he’s not for you. A good boyfriend is suppose to make you feel secure and know that he is there for you not because you’re around. Same thing with Passwords and emails. If you can’t trust your boyfriend you don’t deserve him. He’s his own person and whether you like it or not, we’re in the real world. Unlike the club where you’re in a close capacity to horny drunk men, the world is full of different people, not all out to get your man. Learn to trust and to live your own life as well. Some things you can do together and some apart. 

73) Every Three Hours Someone in the Philippines Gets HIV (world.time.com)

Every Three Hours Someone in the Philippines Gets HIV
(source: Anjani Trivedi, www.world.time.com, July 24, 2013)

Chris Lagman vividly remembers the night that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) came into his life. It was two years ago, and the LGBT activist was at a pre-Christmas dinner party in Quezon City with dozen gay Filipino professionals. During the course of the evening, a fellow guest and close friend asked if he could speak privately to Lagman. He told Lagman that he had recently tested positive for HIV. Over the next few months the young man seemed to vanish from their social circle. The next time Lagman saw him was at his funeral, where relatives said the friend had died from a “mysterious” ailment. That was the first of many funerals Lagman would attend in 2011 as people he knew began to succumb to complications arising from HIV. “I would hear from other friends, [they would ask] why is it that suddenly a lot of my friends are passing away,” Lagman says.

Although there is still a low prevalence of HIV in the Philippines, with just under 24,000 cases reported in 2012, transmission is now growing rapidly. A decade ago, a new case of HIV was being reported every three days. These days, it’s every three hours — a terrifying statistic that makes the Southeast Asian nation one of only nine in the world where transmission is on the rise. The latest data from the Department of Health shows 415 new HIV cases in May, a 52% spike over the same period last year and the highest ever since 1984. According to the department, 9 out of 10 new cases are men, mostly under 30. The reason, many health workers say, is poor “prevention coverage” — things likes the use of condoms and the availability of HIV testing — coupled with an increase in risky behavior. (Even Lagman admits to an unprotected sexual encounter in 2008 with a man he knew to be HIV positive. Fortunately Lagman later tested negative.)

It doesn’t help that overbearing cultural and social stigma is attached to HIV and homosexuality in the Philippines. “It’s almost like a refusal to acknowledge that this is a sexually related disease and that we have to acknowledge that people have sex,” Senator Pia Cayetano tells TIME. “Seriously, it’s as basic as that.” Lagman, who also used to have a popular blog with thousands of gay readers, believes that this stigma helps the epidemic to spread by driving gay sex underground, fueling risky behavior and forcing gay men to act in a “very stealthy and in a very shadowy way.”

The government’s response, in the form of the Reproductive Health Bill that covers the “prevention, treatment and management” of HIV and AIDS, among other sexually transmitted diseases, was stymied earlier this year when the apex court of this deeply Catholic nation held up the bill’s implementation after conservatives and religious groups filed objections. “The Reproductive Health Bill, if passed into law in its present form, will put the moral fiber of our nation at risk,” the national Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said in a statement.

The Philippines already has an AIDS prevention and control law that mandates education programs and monitoring systems. However, activists say the 15-year-old law is antiquated, given the changing nature of the disease. “When the HIV law was enacted in 1998, it was designed to address an epidemic for overseas Filipinos and among sex workers,” Jonas Bagas, head of a sexual- and health-rights NGO in the Philippines, tells TIME. “That’s not the situation right now.” Bagas says intervention programs for “stigmatized communities — MSMs [men who have sex with men], transgender, freelance sex workers, injection drug users and drug users in general” need to be intensified. If the Reproductive Health Bill is upheld by the Supreme Court, the situation should improve. Reproductive and sexual health care will be offered at village-level and free condoms provided.

Other health issues compete for scarce funds and government attention, however. Only about $15 million a year is spent on AIDS-related programs (far less than the dollar per head of population recommended by the Report of the Commission on AIDS in Asia in 2008). Peter Mosende of UNAIDS points out that containing HIV and AIDS will not become a high policy priority while diseases like tuberculosis, which kills 75 people a day in the Philippines, rampage through the country. But things could change fast. Estimates suggest that there will be 50,000 people with HIV in the Philippines in the next three years, with more than 50% of them in need of treatment, unless remedial measures are taken now. HIV testing needs to be drastically expanded, for example. It currently reaches less than 5% of intravenous drug users and MSMs — the two groups most prone to infection.

Chris Lagman saw his own HIV test as a rite of passage. “It was such a horrible experience. It was kind of an outing experience for me,” he remembers. Not long afterward, Lagman, with a group of friends, started an NGO called Love Yourself. “When people take care of themselves and they love themselves, they will stay away from risky behavior that can expose them to the virus,” he says, explaining the group’s name. There’s no doubt that a little love can go a long way, but in the fight against HIV the Philippines needs more. It needs money, political will and a readiness to dismantle decades of stigma.

72) BB Gandanghari denies he has AIDS (ABS-CBNnews.com)

MANILA – BB Gandanghari, who is formerly known as actor Rustom Padilla, admitted he was hurt when he learned about the speculations that have swirled when he was recently hospitalized.

Various rumors arose after his brother, action-star Robin Padilla, posted a picture of him at a hospital bed saying Gandanghari has a “very serious infection.”

In an interview with “The Buzz” on Sunday, Gandanghari set the record straight that had a urinary tract infection (UTI) and not HIV/AIDS.

“Hindi kasi ako nagbabasa. Nakakarating na lang sa akin. Sabi kasi may AIDS daw. But the thing is, I’m not even promiscuous. Ang masakit doon, parang nire-relate na porket I came out as gay, parang kailangan may AIDS na,” he said.

Gandanghari said it hurts him that some people relate being gay to promiscuity.

“Hindi ho sakit ng gays or transsexuals or trangenders ang AIDS because sakit iyan ng promiscuous na tao, whether gay or straight,” he said.

According to Gandanghari, he was suffering from a serious case of UTI possibly brought by his extreme workouts in the past few weeks.

“I think it was because of the dehydration. Before that, I was really working out too much kasi I would do zumba, yoga, running because I want to maintain (my weight) and then hindi ako umiinom ng tubig,” he said.

Gandanghari said he does not regret getting ill as it paved the way for him and Robin to patch things up.

Gandanghari related it was Robin who first visited him at the hospital among his siblings.

He said it also made him feel better since, for the first time, Robin addressed him as "BB," which he considers a turning point in their renewed ties as siblings.

Source: ABS-CBNnews.com, July 14, 2013

71) Two Patients HIV-Free After Stem Cell Treatment --- medpagetoday.com

Two Patients HIV-Free After Stem Cell Treatment
(source: medpagetoday.com, July 3, 2013)

KUALA LUMPUR -- Two HIV-positive men who got a stem cell transplant to treat blood cancers have now been off antiretroviral drugs for several weeks without evidence of the virus rebounding, a researcher said here.
The apparent HIV remissions are exciting developments, but it is too early to say the men have been cured, according to Timothy Henrich, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
"It is possible that the virus could come back next week," Henrich told reporters before his late-breaker presentation at the 7th International AIDS Society meeting on HIV pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention.
But researchers have been unable to find evidence of HIV replication or of HIV DNA integrated into inactive immune cells, although the men have been off HIV therapy for 8 and 15 weeks, respectively, Henrich reported.
If that state persists, he said, it might offer clues to a more widely applicable approach to inducing HIV remission, since stem cell transplant is "not a practical strategy" to cure the 34 million people with HIV worldwide.
Outside experts also cautioned against hyping the findings.
"The next step is to confirm this in larger numbers," said Sharon Lewin, MD, of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. That might be possible because stem cell transplants are performed relatively often around the world, some of them in people with HIV.
But she echoed Henrich's view that stem cell transplant will not be widely useful in curing HIV, if only because of the expense and risk of the procedure.
But, she told reporters, such cases are "absolutely instrumental in moving the science forward."
Indeed, Henrich said, so far investigators don't know what aspect of the stem cell transplant and subsequent therapy led to the disappearance of the virus.
The best guess at the moment, Henrich said, is that graft-versus-host disease -- a common sequel to allogeneic stem cell transplant -- eliminated HIV-bearing host cells while the donor cells were protected from infection by antiretroviral therapy.
The finding is reminiscent of the case of Timothy Brown, the "Berlin patient," who was the first person to have an apparently curative stem cell transplant.
But in that case, doctors sought a donor whose immune cells carried a mutation -- the delta32 variant of the CCR5 gene -- that rendered them resistant to HIV infection.
Brown had what is called myoablative conditioning to completely destroy his own immune system before getting the donor cells and was not on antiretroviral drugs after the transplant.
In the 2 cases in Boston, both men had minimal conditioning with chemotherapeutic drugs, so their own immune systems were not completely destroyed. And they got donor cells that -- in principle -- were susceptible to HIV.
During and after the transplant, both patients remained on antiretroviral therapy for 2.7 and 4.5 years of follow-up before stopping therapy, Henrich said.
It was only recently -- after consultation with ethics boards, the patients themselves, and their doctors -- that Henrich and colleagues "felt justified" in stopping the anti-HIV medications.
The decision to undertake an "analytical treatment interruption" was based on the continuing inability to find HIV in the two men, Henrich said.
Because of the effectiveness of current anti-HIV therapy, the investigators thought stopping treatment entailed "minimal risk" to the patients, senior investigator Dan Kuritzkes, MD, also of Brigham and Women's, told MedPage Today.
Such treatment interruptions have been tested several times in patients who have suppressed virus under anti-retroviral therapy, and usually result in HIV rebound within days.
But there are several cases -- including a cohort in France -- where such interruptions have led to durable control of the virus without the need to resume anti-HIV therapy.
And U.S. researchers are following up the case of an HIV-positive infant, treated within hours of birth, who currently has no evidence of the virus although she was lost to follow-up and did not receive treatment for several months.
In the months and years to come, Lewin said, it's extremely likely that more such individual cases of HIV remission will be found, which might raise "false hope" for a cure.
"We want a much larger, scalable cure" to treat 34 million people, she said, "and that is going to be quite a challenge."

70) 16-year-old Pinoy gets HIV (ABS-CBNnews.com)

MANILA - The Department of Health is sounding the alarm over the increasing number of Filipinos diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), saying at least one HIV patient was as young as 16 years old.

Speaking to radio dzMM, DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag said the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry recorded 415 new HIV cases in May this year. He said this is the highest monthly number of new HIV cases since the registry was set up in 1984.

Tayag said the youngest HIV patient in the new recorded cases is 16 years old. He refused to give more information on the patient but noted that 95% of the new HIV cases are men.

He also noted that many of the new HIV cases are between the ages 20-29.

The health official said the DOH is working towards stopping the rise in HIV cases by reminding Filipinos to practice abstinence, to remain faithful to their partners or to wear a condom.

He, however, noted: "Ang tingin namin dito ay magpapatuloy yung ganuong trend. It's going to get worse before it gets better."

"Ang pagiging mapusok mahirap pong pigilan yan e," he added.

He said the DOH will soon announce how Filipinos can get tested for HIV anonymously. He said that before they can get testing, counselors will talk to the patients.

Source: ABS-CBNnews.com, July 3, 2013

69) A different way of coming out: young designer comes out as HIV positive (Yahoo! News)

A different way of coming out: young fashion designer comes out as HIV positive
(Source: Yahoo! News, July 3, 2013)

Fresh from pulling out design samples at a posh retail store in upscale Makati district, a promising fashion designer is coming out. And by coming out, we don't mean his sexual preference. 

“I’m Ryan. I’m HIV positive and I love myself,” declared the 26-year-old person living with HIV (PLHIV) in a cheerful tone.

In a video produced by Love Yourself, a Manila-based organization focusing on HIV education and prevention, Ryan came forward not to brave ridicules but to deliver his advocacy: to increase voice against the virus.

While he joins the rest of 11,702 Filipinos living with HIV since the first reported case in 1984 until 2012, the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde’s School of Design and Arts graduate dreams of an inclusive society where everyone can live free from prejudice and misinformation.

As recent cases show that HIV becomes widespread among younger victims, the Philippines becomes one of the only 7 remaining countries where HIV has increased by over 25%, according to UNAIDS’ 2010 Global AIDS Report.

The day he knew he’s positive

When he was about to graduate, the young Fashion Design scholar from the town of Silago in Southern Leyte thought of pursuing another talent he discovered from his internships locally and in the South East Asian region.

“In 2008, I was required to undergo a medical exam upon my enrollment… I was quite confident (of the result) when I took the medical exam. When I returned to the clinic after two days, the doctor said, "Ryan, don't be shocked... You're HIV positive,” he related.

Out of fear that he’d discover something scary out of his normal life, Ryan ignored the result and went on with what he likes most—designing—here and in the Middle East where he had a short stint as fashion designer at Chantella Haute Couture in Al Ain, a sub-city in Dubai, upon recommendation of renowned Manila and Los Angeles-based Filipino designer Rocky Gathercole. 

He was however eventually forced to leave because of United Arab Emirates’ existing policy on HIV.

Four years later, Ryan met Love Yourself.

“Last year I met Ryan, who came to me seeking for help because two of his friends just passed away mysteriously, one after the other,” Chris Lagman, Ryan’s counselor, narrated.

68) May 2013 --- Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry

Newly Diagnosed HIV Cases in the Philippines

In MAY 2013, there were 415 new HIV Ab sero-positive individuals confirmed by the STD/AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory (SACCL) and reported to the HIV and AIDS Registry. This is 52% higher compared to the same period last year (n=273 in 2012) and the highest number of cases reported in a month.

Most of the cases (96%) were males. The median age was 28 years (age range: 16-79 years). The 20-29 year (55%) age group had the most number of cases.

Reported mode of transmission were sexual contact (409) and needle sharing among injecting drug users (6). Males having sex with other males (86%) were the predominant type of sexual transmission. Most (95%) of the cases were still asymptomatic at the time of reporting.

In May 2013, bulk of the new HIV cases came from NCR, Region 4A, Region 11, Region 3, and Region 7. The three highest reporting regions were NCR, 4A, and 11.

Source: Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry

67) Over 140 Pinoys deported from Middle East for having HIV/AIDS, hepatitis --- GMA News

For a range of reasons -- from having infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B or C, or even just having abnormal x-ray results -- at least 142  overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were deported from the Middle East since last year,  a Saudi-based medical association reported.

Dr. Tawfik Khoja said the Filipinos  were repatriated from the Middle East in 2012 and 2013 after being found to have infectious diseases like HBsAg (Hepa B), HCV (Hepa C), HIV/AIDS, and abnormal x-ray results upon arriving in their host countries.

Khoja is the director general of the Health Ministers’ Council for Cooperation Council States (GAMCA), an accredited medical association in Saudi Arabia.

The report said the OFWs were deported from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.

The cases included:

  • 50 cases of HBsAg (Hepatitis B),
  • 12 cases of HCV (Hepa C), 
  • three cases of HIV, and
  • 77 abnormal x-ray results.

“The Health Ministers Council for Gulf Cooperation Council States were alarmed that an increasing number of OFWs deployed to the Middle East were found positive for HIV and other infectious diseases,” the report said.

HIV cases

Meanwhile, Philippine Department of Health (DOH) statistics show that 342 OFWs were found positive for HIV in 2012.

The figure comprises about 10 percent of the percent of the total number of cases reported for that year:

The DOH said the latest figure showed a 79 percent increase in the number of cases from a year ago.

Out of the 342 HIV patients, 301 (88 percent) were males while 41 (12 percent) were females according to data from the Philippine National Aids Council (PNAC).

All of the OFWs were infected via sexual intercourse.

As of January this year, there were 12,082 HIV/AIDS cases among Filipinos.

This translates to an average of 12 new cases every day, the highest ever since the DOH started monitoring HIV cases in 2004. 

One out of every five new HIV cases involves an OFW.

Source: Andrei Medina, VVP, GMA News
http://www.gmanetwork.com (May 30, 2013)

66) White Party Manila 2013

All eyes are on Malate, the heart and home of Manila's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) nightlife as it celebrates the 12th White Party Manila on June 29.

Internet sensation celebrity Sebastian Castro graces the event as the face of White Party Manila. The openly gay painter-singer is an advocate of gender equality, widely accepted by the Filipino LGBT community for being proud of his sexuality.

Started in 2001, the White Party is the largest annual gathering of LGBTs and avenue for celebrating equality, unity, and acceptance. Chelu Productions, in coordination with the Malate Business Association, spearheads this year’s White Party celebration alongside several organizations promoting LGBT-related advocacies.

For its 12th year, a whole new program dazzles the White Party guests celebrating the efforts and the triumphs of the LGBT community towards equal rights in the Philippines. The street party starts at 8PM featuring the latest club music from select DJs, with guest performances and special production numbers.

General admission is P200 (entrance only) and VIP tickets are at P1000 with unlimited drinks. For Ticket Inquiry and Reservations, please contact 09278613913.

Source: www.gmanetwork.com (June 10, 2013)

65) April 2013 --- Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry

Newly Diagnosed HIV Cases in the Philippines

In APRIL 2013, there were 388 new HIV Ab sero-positive individuals confirmed by the STD/AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory (SACCL) and reported to the HIV and AIDS Registry. This was 67% higher compared to the same period last year (n=233 in 2012).

Most of the cases (95%) were males. The median age was 28 years (age range: 17-63 years). The 20-29 year (61%) age group had the most number of cases.

Reported mode of transmission were sexual contact (356) and needle sharing among injecting drug users (32). Males having sex with other males (81%) were the predominant type of sexual transmission. Most (94%) of the cases were still asymptomatic at the time of reporting.

In April 2013, bulk of the new HIV cases came from NCR, Region 4A, Region 7, Region 11, and Region 3. The three highest reporting regions were NCR, 4A, and 7.

Source: Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry

64) March 2013 --- Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry

Newly Diagnosed HIV Cases in the Philippines

In MARCH 2013, there were 370 new HIV Ab sero-positive individuals confirmed by the STD/AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory (SACCL) and reported to the HIV and AIDS Registry. This was 18% higher compared to the same period last year (n=313 in 2012).

Most of the cases (96%) were males. The median age was 28 years (age range: 17-63 years). The 20-29 year (55%) age group had the most number of cases.

Reported mode of transmission were sexual contact (364) and needle sharing among injecting drug users (6). Males having sex with other males (85%) were the predominant type of sexual transmission. Most (97%) of the cases were still asymptomatic at the time of reporting.

For March 2013, bulk of the new HIV cases came from NCR, Region 4A, Region 7, Region 3, and Region 11. The three highest reporting regions were NCR, 4A, and 7.

Source: Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry

63) February 2013 --- Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry

Newly Diagnosed HIV Cases in the Philippines

In FEBRUARY 2013, there were 339 new HIV Ab sero-positive individuals confirmed by the STD/AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory (SACCL) and reported to the HIV and AIDS Registry. This was 24% higher compared to the same period last year. 

Most of the cases (96%) were males. The median age was 27 years (age range: 18-58 years). The 20-29 year (60%) age group had the most number of cases.

Reported mode of transmission was sexual contact (339). Males having sex with other males (82%) were the predominant type of sexual transmission. Most (93%) of the cases were still asymptomatic at the time of reporting.

In February 2013, bulk of the new HIV cases came from NCR, Region 4A, Region 3, Region 11, and Region 7. The three highest reporting regions were NCR, 4A, and 3. 

Source: Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry

62) Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center notes increase in HIV-AIDS patients

THE Department of Health (DOH) revealed an increase of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) being treated at Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC).

Dr. Maria Lorena Santos, BGHMC chair of HIV and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) Core Team, said that there are now 72 HIV cases recorded from 2006 until May of this year. These cases were recorded at BGHMC.
She said the hospital had three cases each in 2006 and 2007 while six cases each in 2008 and 2009. Five patients were found HIV positive in 2010 at BGHMC.
However, the number increased in 2011 wherein the hospital had 16 HIV positive patients. The number continues to increase in 2012 with 17 patients while this year has already 16 confirmed patients to be positive of HIV from January to May only.
Despite the increase, Santos said DOH authorities are even happy with the numbers because it only implies that patients are now revealing themselves to doctors which will facilitate easy monitoring. Santos further said it is now easy for them to conduct counseling to the HIV patients. Treatment is also easy with the patients coming out availing of the health benefits the government offers.
Santos said the client–initiated counseling now will help the patients a lot to slow down the progress of the illness to AIDS.
The HIV and AIDS core team chairman said among the 72, the youngest victim is 19 years old while the oldest is 56 years old. BGHMC record shows that 51 are males while 21 are females. Among the 51 males, 40 are homosexual, eight are heterosexual, and three are bisexual. On the other hand, among the 21 females, 14 are heterosexual and one is bisexual.
Among the origins of HIV positive patients are: five from Manila; 28 from Baguio City; one each from Abra, Pampanga, and Isabela; and five from Benguet. Santos revealed most of the patients are professionals.
“HIV has no cure. All HIV positive patients will ultimately progress to AIDS,” she said.
The hospital executive also advised public to take extra precautions when having sexual intercourse with somebody. She revealed that four main source of HIV are: unprotected multiple sexual intercourse; blood transfusion; mother to child transmission; and sharing of injectable needles.
She also urges a person with HIV illness to inform his partner on his disease before sexual intercourse because it is mandated under the Philippine law. She explains, if the partner was informed about the illness and yet, he still want to have sex with the patient, that is his choice. However, Santos said the two can still have sex but they have to use protective measures in order to avoid transmitting the illness to one another’s future partner.
DOH encourages citizens with HIV symptoms to visit any hospital in order to avail of the free medicines, free laboratory tests, and other free health services which are now being offered to HIV victims.

Source: Rubyloida Bitog