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“Gay statistics” in the Philippines by consensus September 15, 2006

Posted by lagablab in hiv/aids.

“Experts” in the field of HIV/AIDS came up with a consensus on the estimated number of “males who have sex with males” (MSMs) in the Philippines: it is from 379,799 to 804,280.

This is according to the 2005 HIV Estimates in the Philippines, a consensus report released by the Department of Health, World Health Organization, the United Nations Joint Programme on the HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and the Field Epidemiology Training Program Alumni Foundation.

The method used by the report is “a mathematical modeling technique.” The consensus was based on two surveys that limited the definition of MSMs to those who admitted engaging in anal sex since a year prior to the studies.

The report states that “with a fairly accurate estimate of popultion sizes of high-risk groups, the National AIDS/STI Prevention and Control Program can plan intervention programs more effectively, ensure better program coverage, and more rational assessment of the effectiveness of current intervention programs.”

This is the sixth estimation process since 1993.

In 1993, a software called the EPIMODEL was used to calculate the over-all prevalence of HIV infection in the country. The estimate then was that 58, 000 Filipinos were infected with the virus and it was projected that by 2000, the prevalence would increase to 92,000. In 1996, a DOH/WHO model put the prevalence to 28,000 (est.), with 38,000 as the projected figure for 2000.

In 1998, a consensus of experts who reviewed data from the National HIV Sentinel Surveillance System (NHSSS), National AIDS/STD Prevention and Control Program (NASPCP), Bureau of Research and Laboratory (BRL), Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), and the University of the Philippines College of Public Health (UPCPH) retained the 1996 estimates.

A similar consensus in 2000 and 2002 reduced the HIV prevalence estimate to 10,000 and 6,000, respectively.

To arrived at a consensus, technical working groups composed of representatives from the Department of Health, National Epidemiology Center (NEC), STI/AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory (SACCL), National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (NCDPC), Men’s Sexual Health/Family Health International, UPCPH, and the health offices of several local government units.

Several studies were used to determine the population size and HIV prevalence among MSMs:

  • the Rapid Assessment Survey of FHI in Baguio, Pasay, Zaboanga, Davao, and General Santos cities (2004-2005)
  • Serologic Surveillance (2005)
  • Integrated Biological and Behavioral Survey among MSMs in Baguio City, Pasay City, Quezon City, and Manila City of FHI (2004-2005)
  • National and Demographic Health Survey (2003)
  • Integrated HIV Behavioral and Serologic Surveillance (2005)

However, to come up with the MSM population size and HIV prevalence estimates, the 2005 Consensus Report used the National and Demographic Health Survey (2003) and the 2001 Men’s Study of Sexuality and AIDS (MENSSA). The former covered 3,147 males respondents, while the latter surveyed 2,148 men in Quezon City, Davao City and Cebu City.

For both NHDS and MENSSA, “males who have sex with males” are limited to men who have admitted engaging in anal sex a year since the studies were conducted. The 2005 Consensus Report adopted the same problematic definition of MSMs. The proportion of MSMs in both studies was then used to approximate the number of MSMs in the country’s total male population.


1. betto - September 19, 2006

how come in this study of HIV homosexuality is the focus of the research? Is it too offensive for gays?

2. lagablab - September 21, 2006

If you are referring to the 2005 HIV Estimates, the research actually focused on the so-called vulnerable populations – migrant Filipinos, persons in prostitution, injecting drug users, and males who have sex with males (MSM). The categories have been created based on sexual behavior, and not on identities.

MSM is an awkward catch-all phrase. It actually includes not just “gays” and bisexuals, but also, in general, men who have sex with other men but do not self-identify as homosexuals or bisexuals. MSMs are considered vulnerable to HIV infection because of the stigma surrounding their sexuality – they are made invisible by discrimination and they are persecuted because of their sexuality, which makes interventions to educate them about safer sex more difficult.

The 2005 HIV Estimates is contentious because it actually underestimates the population of MSMs in the country. By limiting the definition of MSMs to those who admitted having anal sex is short-sighted – it excludes others who may not be sexually active or may not have engaged in anal sex in the past but are inclined to have sex with other men.

3. signab - November 28, 2006

a possible sampling bias would be: MSMs are only those who are out and willing to participate in the survey conducted. How about the “closet queens”? I think they are underrepresnted here. Given the fact that gayness has been stigmatized to being automatically sexually attracted to the same sex. How often do these MSMs had anal sex? How about possible deviations like sexual harassment?

4. jamilah - December 5, 2006

your such an insane yuck!

5. drei - March 5, 2007

dear jamilah, although i should respect your opinion, if you cant say something nice just dont say anything. 🙂 more power to the lgbt community!

6. R E Y - April 19, 2007

jamilah, if you can’t handle us try to live in the deepest part of a jungle, or try the edge of the world!!! Look for a place where glamour, beauty, and intelligence were not yet defined!!!

7. genesis - April 30, 2007

hi guys, do you know where i can find information about the True gay Statistics in the Philippines. i would really appreciate this.
thank you

8. Mariel - May 15, 2007

you’re not funny jamilah… and if it’s your opinion… so be it… in my opinion however, you’re discriminatory attitude will get you somewhere… where you can have face to face with your own karma ^^

9. vivs - July 4, 2007

guys, im in a research about gays rlated to STD, i wanna know your concerns, or related problems…

10. mae - July 17, 2007

m a uplb student thinking bout my sp ryt now..den i found dis site..wud u lyk to suggest a problem regarding dis

11. Christian Homosexual - August 12, 2007

what i know is this…
the more open society is for a certain culture, the more evident this culture is propogated…

parang sa mga kurso lang yan e…
dati uso na mag-engineer… so maraming nage-engineer…
tapos nauso mag-nursing… so maraming nagnursing (pati doktor)…

so ngayon na mas open na ang philippine society sa gay lifestyle…
parang nanganganak na tayo…
however, it doesn’t mean na lahat ay bakla o tomboy na…
kasi ang linya na ngayon natin ay “umamin ka, bakla/tomboy ka no?”
kaya dahil sa LABELING na ito, lalo na sa mga taong walang conviction sa sarili lalo na mga kabataan… tinatanggap na niya ang bansag na ito at pamumuhay bakla/tomboy, kahit sa puso niya ay hindi naman niya gusto maging bakla o tomboy…

kaya hindi ako naniniwala sa mga survey at statistics na ito…
isang propoganda campaign lamang ito na palabasin na marami nang umaamin (or should i say “pinapaamin”) na bakla/tomboy sa mga pilipino…

sad but true… we are manipulative in many ways…

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