Filipinos Uneducated About HIV/AIDS, Spread of Disease, Government Survey Says
Many Filipinos are uneducated about HIV/AIDS and how the disease spreads, according to a survey released Tuesday by the government's Commission on Population, a division of the Philippine Department of Health, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. The survey, which was conducted between June 16, 2003, and September 3, 2003, included interviews with about 14,000 women and 5,000 men nationwide ages 16 and older. The margin of error was 6%. The survey found that about 96% of respondents think HIV can be transmitted by mosquitoes or through sharing food with an HIV-positive person, according to Tomas Osias, executive director of the commission. In addition, only 34% of women and 29% of men in the survey said they would provide care for an HIV-positive relative, Osias said (AFP/Yahoo! News, 5/17). "Misconceptions about HIV/AIDS are normally borne out by wrong information people get from different sources," Osias said (Esguerra, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 5/17). He added, "These not only control public behavior towards infected people but create discrimination even among close relatives" (AFP/Yahoo! News, 5/17). The Philippines has recorded about 2,200 HIV cases and 676 AIDS cases, but the country's health department and the World Health Organization estimate that there were 10,000 HIV-positive people living in the country at the end of 2003 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.