STD control program in the Philippines.
In the Philippines, as in most countries with passive reporting systems, it is difficult to estimate the true magnitude of the sexually transmitted disease (STD) problem. There were over 50,000 cases of STDs reported in 1995 and a fluctuating trend is seen per year. However, this is primarily due to the erratic reporting to the central office. In contrast, studies reveal that there is an increasing incidence of STDs in the country. This reported increase, and STDs' strong interrelationship with HIV, prompted the Department of Health to declare STDs a public health priority. Several major activities are being undertaken. The government's responses include: strengthening program management; strengthening STD services; assisting specialized STD services; strengthening laboratory support; promoting prevention and health-seeking behavior through information, education, and communication; establishing condom programs; and monitoring STDs. For the nongovernmental organizations, efforts in responding to the STD epidemic are in the form of training and service delivery. Moreover, the international agencies are also assisting and collaborating with the Department of Health to control STDs. Despite such initiatives, there is still a need to have a concerted effort to face all of these challenges.