A Time for Urgent Action: Responding to the HIV Epidemic among People who Inject Drugs in Cebu City

Publications - Released in 2012

An explosive HIV epidemic among PWID exists in Cebu City. In 2008 HIV transmission was primarily due to sexual contact (90%), but by 2012 it was injecting drug use (77%). The 2011 biological and behavioural surveillance in Cebu City reported HIV prevalence among PWID to be 54%, with Hepatitis C prevalence reaching 94%. The same study found 15% of freelance female sex workers had injected drugs and among male injectors 24% reported same sex behaviours. There are an estimated 6000 PWID in metro Cebu, with 2000 - 2500 PWID in Cebu City, of which the majority share their injecting equipment; many are sexually active, resulting in spread of HIV to their non-injecting wives/ partners and then possibly to their babies. The current public health crisis requires an urgent and well coordinated response.



  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Department of Health (DOH) - Philippines