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Brand and Business: Durex Calls for Continued Awareness and Support to the LGBTQIA+ Communi

MANILA, Philippines– Condoms brand Durex is calling for continued awareness about sexually transmitted diseases through its No One Way Love All Ways Campaign. This comes after statistics from the Department of Health (DOH) showed that the average number of people newly diagnosed with HIV on a daily basis is at 35.

While undeniably COVID-19 has resulted in a health crisis of unparalleled proportions, the issue of HIV in the Philippines alongside that of LGBTQIA+ community concerns still remains a critical one. Furthermore, the number of HIV cases among sexually active males has been considerable, with January to December 2019 figures pegged at 7,743 male to male transmissions.

Additional data shows that from January 1984 to December 2019, sexual contact among men who have sex with men (MSM) is at 85 percent and was the predominant mode of transmission. This is followed by male-female sex at 11 percent, and sharing of infected needles at 3 percent (2,166). More than half of men who have sex with men at 52 percent  were 25 to 34 years old at the time of testing, and 31 percent were 15 to 24 years old. These figures resulted in the DOH Central Office National AIDS and STI (sexually transmitted infection) Prevention and Control Program to sound the alarm over how more young Filipino men are being infected by HIV.

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“The lockdown imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges and difficulties to a lot of people, where people living with HIV (PLHIV) have not been spared,” says Dr. Louie Ocampo, Country Director of UNAIDS Philippines. “Early on, for example, accessing life-saving antiretroviral therapy and prevention services including condoms became difficult. It’s imperative therefore that all stakeholders’ work together to ensure uninterrupted access to HIV services is provided and that we remain relentless in our drive to curb a possible second wave of the HIV epidemic in the country.”

Meanwhile, data from the 2019 Global AIDS Report shows that the population size estimate of men who have sex with men stands at 830,000, with an HIV prevalence of 5 percent, HIV testing and status awareness at 28.4 percent, and condom use at 40.1 percent. In the same study, the population size estimate of transgenders stands at 190,000, HIV testing and status awareness at 36.3 percent, and condom use at 40.6 percent.

Through the campaign, which emphasizes that there’s really no one way to own your sexuality, Durex continues the fight to curb the spread of HIV in the Philippines, even in this season of COVID-19.

Beyond the No One Way Love All Ways Campaign, Durex has a host of other worthwhile initiatives in partnership with various stakeholders. Included here is the brand’s donation of condoms to the Taguig City Health Office last April, which were then distributed to health centers as well as being made available for the city’s telemedicine program. Durex is also donating P20K worth of products to LoveYourself for their National HIV Prevention Month activities in August.

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