A Time for Urgent Action: Responding to the HIV Epidemic among People who Inject Drugs in Cebu City. The Philippines Department of Health, Philippines Cebu City Health Department and WHO.

immage

An explosive HIV epidemic among PWID exists in Cebu City. In 2008 HIV transmission was primarily due to sexual contact (90%), but by 2012 it was injecting drug use (77%). The 2011 biological and behavioural surveillance in Cebu City reported HIV prevalence among PWID to be 54%, with Hepatitis C prevalence reaching 94%. The same study found 15% of freelance female sex workers had injected drugs and among male injectors 24% reported same sex behaviours. There are an estimated 6000 PWID in metro Cebu, with 2000 - 2500 PWID in Cebu City, of which the majority share their injecting equipment; many are sexually active, resulting in spread of HIV to their non-injecting wives/ partners and then possibly to their babies. The current public health crisis requires an urgent and well coordinated response.

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