I was chatting with someone from PlanetRomeo last night and something he said bothered me.
“The Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia without true HIV numbers. They say there are only 9,000 people with HIV in the Philippines. Thailand has 53,000 with HIV with a population of 63,000,000. Vietnam has 280,000 with HIV with a population of 77,000,000. Malaysia has 100,000 with HIV with a population of 24,000,000. Cambodia has 63,000 with HIV with a population of 14,000,000. The Philippines has a population of 98,000,000 so the true number is over 100,000.”
What he said bothered me because I actually think he’s right. I think the numbers are small for the Philippines because not enough people are getting tested. Dr Jordana made me think about that when I got my test results. I was telling her that I knew that Davao had one of the highest numbers of HIV+ people in the country, and she said that it’s probably because the Davao hub maybe does more outreach projects so more people get tested. It doesn’t make sense for Davao to have more people infected than people in Metro Manila just based off the sheer difference in population.
Get tested, people. Yes, it’s scary taking the test, but it’s scarier to not know that you have HIV when you really do. As much as I really pray that there really are not a whole of us with HIV in the Philippines, I also pray that those who really are know that they are so that they can get treated as needed.