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Pinoy Abroad

Over 140 Pinoys deported from Middle East for having HIV/AIDS, hepatitis

May 30, 2013 11:30pm
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. - with a report from Andrei Medina, VVP, GMA News
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