MSM Country Snapshot Series: The Philippines

By December 21, 2014 May 18th, 2020 Policies

The Philippines has among the lowest rates of HIV transmissionin the region, with an estimated total of just over 10,514 infections between 1984 and August 2012. Its HIVepidemic is increasingly concentrated among men who havesex with men and other key affected populations, with tremendousvariation across subpopulations and location. Some attribute the relatively slow spread of HIV in thePhilippines to its complex geography and isolation from thelarger regional epidemic.

There is growing concern of an emerging epidemic amongFilipino MSM. Sexual transmission between males has beenthe predominant mode of transmission since 2007. Sero-logic surveillance over the last few years indicates that HIV incidence among females is reaching a plateau but appears to be growing rapidly among males. Approximately six out of ten people living with HIV contracted the virus through sexual transmission between men. In 2011, about eight out of ten new infections were among MSM. HIV diagnoses have increased three-fold between 2003 and 2008, a fact that, in the context of other mounting evidence, suggests a forthcoming expansion of the HIV epidemic.