Archive for March, 2011

This is so not right! What do you think?

HIV-positive director-actor blacklisted by immigration, denied entry to PH

Director-actor Marcelino “Mars” Cavestany, a naturalized Australian citizen, was not allowed to enter the Philippines after being blacklisted by the Bureau of Immigration for being HIV positive.

According to ABS-CBN News, the blacklist order said Cavestany should not be allowed entry because he will spread HIV. The former Filipino citizen arrived on March 6 and was held at the NAIA terminal.

Claiming he was not informed about the blacklist order, Cavestany decried being treated “like a criminal.”

ABS-CBN News reports that then Commissioner Marcelino Libanan issued the order in March 2010 upon the request of the office of Malou Jacob of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Cavestany claimed that a fight with NCCA staff member Susan Claudio may have prompted the NCCA to request for the order.

Cavestany challenged immigration to junk the order, saying it is discriminatory and violates human rights.

According to ABS-CBN News, Cavestany flew to the Philippines from Darwin, Australia to do a film and pen a book about HIV.


Article from

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is now one of the seven countries in the world with steadily increasing cases of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and most of the new cases are males who got the virus through sex with other males.

HIV is the virus that causes the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, a disease in which the body’s immune systems are attacked, weakened and undermined. This condition eventually leads to death.

Dr. Enrique Tayag, director of the National Epidemiology Center of the Department of Health (DoH), made the disclosure during the presentation of the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) 2011 State of the World’s Children report at the Sulu Hotel in Quezon City, on Wednesday.

Other countries named to have steadily increasing HIV cases were Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, and Tajikistan.

Tayag said during the forum that the predominant mode of sexual transmission has changed since 2007 from heterosexual sex to sex between men.

“From 2007, there has been a shift from heterosexual contact to males having sex with males,” Tayag said.

He further said that for every one female infected, four men had been infected through homosexual contact.

Since 1984, 6,015 HIV cases have been recorded in the country, according to Tayag.

The DoH national registry shows that 5,158 of the cases are asymptomatic, and 857 have become full-blown AIDS cases.

At least 4,999 are males and 1,305 are females.

Tayag said that in December 2010 alone, 174 new cases were reported, a 38 percent increase from the number of cases recorded in the same month in 2009. They were also the highest number of cases reported in a single month since 1984.

Tayag added that of the 174 HIV cases recorded in December 2010, 14 were overseas Filipino workers, or OFWs, all of them males.

Also, he said, most of the 174 were from the National Capital Region. Three were reported as AIDS cases, and all of them were males.

He explained that the persons with HIV were 25 to 28 years old at the time their cases were registered.

Tayag said sources of information for persons with HIV have been one-on-one counseling, group counseling, videos, pamphlets, Internet and seminars.

He added that infections among young people 15 to 24 years of age also increased 10 times from 2007 to 2010 from 41 cases in 2007 to 489 cases in 2010.

The increase was due to the prevalence of pre-marital sexual activity, he said.

He said sex has been the usual mode of transmission of HIV. Eighty-nine percent of all those infected in the Philippines acquired the virus through sexual contact. The victims’ ages ranged from 16 to 73 years old.

He said other modes of transmission were needle sharing among drug users and mother-to-child transmission. But at least 1 percent of those recorded to be with HIV claimed not to know how they got the virus.

Since 1984, 1,522 OFWs were reported to have the infection, and sexual contact was the predominant mode of transmission, Tayag said.