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