Philippine Research Group Finds Poorer Women More Susceptible To STDs Than Richer Women

Philippine Research Group Finds Poorer Women More Susceptible To STDs Than Richer Women

According to a research group study, poor women are more prone to be diagnosed with an STD (sexually transmitted disease) than women from richer households.

The report is from Philippine Institute for Development Studies, which used information from the 2008 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey. 41 percent of impoverished females – 15 to 24 years old – were vulnerable of being infected with an STD, whereas just just 22 percent of richer women. That’s according to Michael Abrigo, former PIDS Research Fellow with the National Statistics Office.

Abrigo said poorer females tend not to get the information they need about STDs. According to the latest Department of Health records, there were 9, 217 HIV/AIDS cases. The total amount for the area is 40,388 from January 2010 to May 2017.

There have been many claims that instituting a comprehensive sex education program in school leads to early sexual behavior among teenagers. However, Abrigo said his study shows that offering sex education programs can improve sexual behaviors. He said it could delay sexual activity, increase condom use and delay sex initiation altogether.

The study also noted it boosted HIV/AIDS awareness, which could save the government a lot of money in the long run. He said the better knowledge of HIV/AIDS could lead to a drop in the number of cases by three percent, which means a yearly cost savings of up to $5.8 million U.S. dollars.

Abrigo is urging the government to improve the accessibility of health and sex information for the younger population. He proposed it supported the family planning programs under the “Reproductive Health Law.”

Written by Mark Riegel, MD

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