Overview of the AIDS Epidemic and the Response in Quezon City

Monday, May 4, 2015

With more than 2.6 million residents, Quezon City is the largest city in the Philippines (by population) and has been classified by PNAC as one of the country’s 22 highest priority areas for accelerated HIV interventions. There are numerous entertainment establishments in the city and it is home to the largest concentrations of key affected populations (KAPs) in Metro Manila. The 2011 IHBSS indicated HIV prevalence in Quezon City among RFSW at 0.33%, among FFSW at 0.34% and among MSM at 5.56%, which is significantly higher than the national HIV prevalence for MSM (2.16%). Prevalence figures are not available for PWID, of whom there are fewer than 300 in Quezon City, according to the most recent population size estimates. The epidemic is currently being driven by male to male sex, which accounted for 52% of HIV cases reported in 2011.[1] Quezon City has had an active HIV response since the 1990s and was one of the original HIV sentinel sites in the DOH’s AIDS Surveillance and Educational Project (ASEP), supported by USAID.

The AIDS program in Quezon City is fully supported by the City Government through the City Health Department, which has shown a high level of leadership. The incumbent City Health Officer was formerly in charge of the AIDS Program and therefore has an in-depth understanding of the epidemic and is very engaged in the response. As such she has been proactive in seeking additional resources/funding and other support for the program.

Currently, Quezon City Health Department delivers STI and HIV services through three Social Hygiene Clinics that cater mostly to FSW, with one also operating extended hours (‘Sundown clinic’) to cater specifically to MSM. A fourth SHC/Sundown clinic will open in 2014.  SHCs are supported by the LGU, with some support from the central government and Global Fund for HIV test kits.