REPORT: The Philippines’ Ticking AIDS Time Bomb

A new report coming out of the Philippines indicates HIV rates are on the rise in the Southeast Asian country. While the fewer than 10,000 confirmed cases (almost all among gay men) is a relatively small number in a country of almost 100 million, that rate has tripled in the past few years: There are now ten new infections each day. The deeply Catholic island is also one of only seven nations in the world that has seen a rise of more than 25% in HIV infections since 2001. (See the entire list here.)

“This is a worrying explosion of HIV cases marked by a shift in the way the virus is transmitted,” said Philip Castro, an HIV/AIDS program officer at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). “What’s more alarming is that more than 60% of those engaging in [homosexual] sex had reported having unsafe sex in their last contact.”

The church’s ban on condoms is a contributing factor, as are the absence of public-awareness campaigns and cultural taboos against homosexuality, AIDS and even sex.

“I know a lot of people living with HIV that are not allowed to go to school, to attend church or gain access to certain health services,” said AIDS activist Humphrey Gorriceta, who has seen two friends commit suicide after being diagnosed. “HIV is like the modern leprosy, except it is hidden.”

But by withholding life-saving educational resources that have proven so successful in other countries, the government—and the church—could face an exponentially worse problem in a nation where the average person makes about $350 per month.

The societal cost of a full-blown epidemic, meanwhile, could be in the millions.

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  • Enkidu

    “What’s more alarming is that more than 60% of those engaging in [homosexual] sex had reported having unsafe sex in their last contact.”

    Of course, “homosexual sex” here really means anal penetration, which is inherently unsafe and is responsible for at least 90% (some say 99%) of infections in MSM. You are many, many times more likely to contract HIV from getting buttfucked WITH A CONDOM than from sucking a man off and taking his load in your mouth. Yes, you read that right, and yes, I will gladly furnish you with sources if you doubt it to be true.

    Anal penetration is a crude parody of heterosexuality. It’s dirty and degrading and it spreads disease with spectacular efficiency. The sooner gay men reject it in favor of hotter, healthier forms of masculine expression, the better.

  • DrewSF

    This is VERY old news.

    Enkidu-How are you more likely to get HIV either as a top or bottom from anal sex even if you do use condoms correctly? Condoms do work at preventing HIV transmission and re-infection (if you or the other person are HIV+).

    Are you a g0y or something?

  • matt

    We wonder why the HIV rates are bad? At present, there are approximately 600,000 prostitutes in the Philippines. 50,000 to 60,000 of this are children forced into prostitution.

    (don’t know how old is this information)saw it here

  • matt

    Sorry I was An HIV counselor/educator for 5 years. Transmission can be through any mucus membrane and through 5 different fluids: Blood, semen, brain/spinal fluid, breast milk, and vaginal secretion. So there are many factors as to how so many received and transmitted this unfortunate and preventable disease.

  • Matt

    @Enkidu: “Anal penetration is a crude parody of heterosexuality. It’s dirty and degrading”

    Wow, definitely no self-hatred/internalized homophobia going on here, none whatsoever! You describe gay sex in the exact same fashion as the far-right religious bigots do, so I’ll give you the same advise that I give to them. Piss off.

  • the other Greg

    @Enkidu: Your HIV facts are correct, but your 3rd paragraph is a subjective opinion. I tend to agree with you however that oral is way hotter! And yeah, if more guys agreed with us it would solve a lot of problems. I’ve always suspected that a lot of guys just put up with getting fucked because of all the propaganda about how we’re all “supposed” to like it, and it’s the classical “gay” thing that we’re all supposed to do, etc., even though it mostly sucks (no pun intended) unless you’re on top.

    Is your boyfriend named Gilgamesh? When I read the “Epic of Gilgamesh,” I always imagined Enkidu fucking Gilgamesh. So I imagined it wrong and they were into oral? :)

  • westpac_sailor

    Ah PI, it’s been years since I’ve been there and nothing has changed. Then again, it was several decades since when my father-sailor was there and very little had changed since his time. Still a dirty, dirt-poor, and desperate place. The shame is it could be a beautiful tropical paradise great for cheap tourism but because of their Government style everybody knows the place is great for straight guys to pick up women because they’re desperate to leave the country, and PI’s greatest export is people for manual labor because as a shipmate of mine who is married with kids to one said “The money is better everywhere else.” I can remember leaving Manilla and the ship had a man overboard drill and several of my shipmates laughed and commented that the “man in the water” would be better off drowned or killed than rescued and face a life riddled with disease. Truth hurts and it may be black humor but when the shoe fits. . .

  • J Stratford

    Classic misinformation by dumb people who do not know math (obviously not Asian, lol).

    The report says “Incidence increased by 25% in Bangladesh and Philippines between 2001 and
    2009 even as the countries continue to have relatively low epidemic levels.”

    So yes, just an illustration, if there were 4 people who had aids in 2001 and there was one more in 2009, thatis an “alarming” 25% increase but its still very very very low.

    HIV/AIDS is still a bigger problem in the US than in the Philippines and it will remain that way for decades to come.

  • Belize

    @westpac_sailor: Ah the usual PRETENTIOUSNESS of DUMB sea folk who think that just because he’s been to one island of AN ARCHIPELAGO, he can describe the entire country. LOL. Get your head out of your ass so that you can stop spitting ignorant shit just so you could sound smart by pretending to know stuff.

    First of all, the Philippine economy is on the rise; even being able to pledge PH $1 billion to the International Monetary Fund just recently. The simple task of Googling would tell you this but I guess that’s too hard for you simple sea folk.

    Secondly, I have no doubt that majority of Manila (THAT’S HOW IT’S SPELLED, BY THE WAY) is dirty and that Manila bay is one of the worst cesspools near the Pacific–I’m pretty sure you’ve been there given your pretentious but obviously ignorant piece of information. I have been there recently and it is a mess. But have you been to Cebu? Davao? Sagada? Subic? Camarines Sur? Ilo-ilo? Palawan (OUTSIDE OF THE WHOLE CORON EXPERIENCE,) and a host of other islands? I doubt it. I have since it is part of my job and I can’t help but laugh at your foolish anecdote.

    Thirdly, the primary export of the Philippines as a whole are manufactured electronic products–it has been so for 7 years now. I doubt that you know this since fish probably swim in that head of yours. It also exports coconut oil, copper, garment and petroleum.

    Finally, I actually DON’T like the Philippines as a whole. It has too many Catholic nut jobs that cripple really talented artists, LGBT rights, women’s rights and health care. Also there are too many ignorant morons like you who just because they’ve seen one perspective of something, they’ve seen it all. Unfortunately, I can’t stand the poorly informed who act as though they’re beacons of truth even though they know shit.

    Now that you’ve been infinitely put in your place, why not stay on your little boat. Clearly, the land life and it’s CONSTANTLY update knowledge bank does not suit you. The truth hurts, but if the shoe fits… sorry. :)

  • Belize

    @J Stratford: Classic misinformation by dumb people who do not know math (obviously not Asian, lol).

    LOL. XD

  • joe moses

    AIDS – Department of Defense Project
    Where did AIDS begin? Is AIDS an accident that the Bible has warned about that would plague the world? In 1969 the Department of Defense requested $Millions to develop germ warfare. You had better be sitting down when you view this video clip.
    Bionetics, working with Litton Industries have performed scientific research and development of Bio-Chemical Weapons for the U S Government. The Navy has always been at the forefront of this research. Bio Weapons are cheaper to make and can be designed to target certain types of people.
    Dr Leonard Horowitz
    Sun Sept 12, 2010
    Subject: Robert Gallo – The Man Who Created AIDS
    It amazes me how easily People Lie and Profit about these things. Who the hell do they think they are?

  • Ewan

    @Enkidu: Hotter, healthier forms of “masculine expression”? I think this may be the point where you obvious hang ups are based on. “Don’t take it in the ass! It’s not manly!” Leave it to the individual (and their intense orgasms,) to figure out what and isn’t degrading for themselves, eh?

  • Eddie

    @westpac_sailor: U.S.A. owned Philippines ( as a gross imperialist power that they were ) and did nothing for the islands but exploit them.

  • F Stratford


    Lol. I mean seriously, right? Why is it that so many opinionated commentators in Queerty can not do simple fractions and percentages? They believe everything they read without checking if the data being presented CONTRADICTS the words being written.

    Maybe Queerty’s writers should get a Filipino teacher to teach them basic arithmetic.

    Just saying….

  • Cherry Boy

    I’m surprised the country isn’t much worse off. The whores there don’t demand condom use usually and there are a lot of them.

  • Rooney

    @Enkidu: Are you a regular here? I’ve only seen your kind on “fidelity & frot” of the “man2manalliance”, and the lot of you are looney toons. I mean, the only thing I get from the rants on your site is that you really, really, hate and have sexual hang-ups about women. tl;dr you’re doing gay wrong.

    That said, the forced prostitution business is awful, and I hope every single last pedo John who travels there catches it. And the Catholic church still wants poor people to die, bears shit in the woods, pope cuddles pedos, nothing new.

  • Rooney

    @joe moses: lololol what are you smoking?

Comments are closed.