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Real Talk with Returning Seafarers

According to the Disease Surveillance of the Department of Health (DoH), 750 newly diagnosed HIV cases were reported for December 2016 alone. Out of the 750 new cases, 53 were accounted as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), which comprised 7% of the total newly diagnosed, 50 OFWs were male with an average age of 32 years.

With the growing number of HIV cases in the country that accounted for 26 new cases every day, Positive Action Foundation Philippines Incorporated (PAFPI) conducted a series of Focus Group Discussions (FGD) with returning seafarers for deployment under Technomar Crew Mgt. Corporation, SeaPower Shipping Enterprises, Inc., Overseas Placement Association of the Philippines (OPAP), and Association of Marine Officers and Seaman’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP).

The FGD aims to gather feedbacks and to validate the impact of PAFPI’s Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) in the lives of OFWs. More so, information gathered from the FGD will help PAFPI come up with a more appropriate and effective prevention and advocacy programs for OFWs, specifically seafarers.

Another objective is to help prepare the mind-set of OFWS to protect themselves against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), HIV and AIDS, and other related illnesses that were acquired through unprotected sex. The FGD also aims to encourage seafarers to put into practice appropriate preventive measures, and also to promote healthier and positive lifestyle while working overseas.

The FGD was held at the four (4) PDOS manning agencies, and a project funded by Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, AusAID and Pasasalamat Fund yielded a total of 44 participants.

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