We’ve come a long way. From treating STDs as a taboo topic in the Philippines, attitudes and healthcare practices are changing. We’re learning that open discussion and sexual education can lead to prevention. Filipinos have begun making efforts to spread awareness through seminars and counselling. However, we’ve still got a long journey ahead of us when it comes to STD awareness, treatment, and healthcare inclusions. Here are four fast facts about STD in the Philippines to give you a better idea of where we stand today.
Fast Fact #1: HIV Rates Continue to Increase
HIV, an incurable STD that leads to AIDS, is on the rise in the Philippines. It is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the country. 44,000 cases were reported from 1984 to 2017, and it is still spreading at an alarming rate.
In 2008, the average number of newly diagnosed HIV cases per day was only one patient. Eight years later, in June 2016, the average number of newly diagnosed HIV cases per day grew to 26 patients.
Fast Fact #2: The 4 Prevalent STD in the Philippines Are Curable
According to the WHO, four sexually transmitted infections have had a steady growth rate. These are chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and syphilis. It may be daunting to be diagnosed with any of these STDs, but they are curable. It’s possible given ample time, proper medication, a healthy diet, and abstinence. But if left untreated, these STDs can lead to multiple health problems. Such problems include neurological and cardiovascular diseases, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, stillbirth, or a greater risk of HIV.
Fast Fact #3: STDs Are Harder to Track in Women Than in Men
Although STDs affect people of all ages and both genders, they are harder to diagnose in women because they do not show symptoms like they do in men.
Men can have confirmation of their health status with one test. But women have to undergo a series of tests to determine if they’ve contracted an STD since the female genitals are internal.
Fast Fact #4: Testing Is Free (Even if You’re Underage)
As the stigma of STD in the Philippines decreases and we become more compassionate and open, organizations, clinics, and hospitals have begun to offer free HIV testing. This is good news as early detection leads to better chances of curing STD. As a result of a newly passed law which allows testing for minors without parental consent, HIV testing kits are free.
You may visit any Love Yourself Center (Quezon City, Mandaluyong City, Pasay City, Manila City, and Paranaque City) for free HIV Testing. You can also benefit from their STD seminars and programs.
The Philippine General Hospital and San Lazaro Hospital also offer free HIV testing.
Through proper sex education and access to healthcare for all, there is hope for STD in the Philippines to decrease within the next decade.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.