IEC, Awareness Best Weapon Against HIV-AIDS
June 6, 2015
BAGUIO CITY – The fight against Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV-AIDS) goes on through education and right information campaign, even after the international AIDS candlelighting ceremonies at SM Center, May 29.
This was advocated in messages of Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Committee chair on Health and environment protection Councilor Fred Bagbagen, Health Services Office (HSO) head Dr. Rowena Galpo, Department of Health OIC Amelita Pangilinan, other medical personnel and health advocates.
The message was echoed by Marlene de Castro of the Baguio Center for Young Adults (BCYA), as she emphasized that each should employ intelligent decisions, and use discipline with responsibility when confronted with AIDS-related situations. Government agencies, non-government organizations are within reach for persons needing help, she said.
Audience during the forum are members of the Baguio Association of Bars and Entertainers (BABES), aside from government personnel and concerned private individuals.
As to information, the national AIDS prevention control programs was launched in the Philippines in 1988; and later, surveillance, organization of persons with AIDS, establishment of the Bahay Lingap in 1995, an AIDS international congress in the Asia and the Pacific in 1996, an AIDS congress with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in 1997. The Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and the mass media joined the information campaign.
There is no known technology nor medical cure for AIDS, thus everyone should keep safe and healthy, Councilor Bagbagen cautioned. It was for this purpose that exercises including the popular Zumba dance-fitness program is endorsed AIDS, though preventable, is transmitted through unprotected sex, blood transfusion, needle and syringe use specially among drug users, and breastfeeding. Statistics now show a steep increase in AIDS cases due to rapid transmission, and now termed as “epidemic,” causing alarm among health and medical personnel. The cases show the vulnerability of every individual, thus the need for precaution.
For those infected, researches on pain treatment caused by AIDS infections are being done, Dr. Galpo said in her message.
A voluntary, confidential and free diagnostic HIV testing is provided, including pre and post counseling, in coordination with the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) and DOH-CAR, Dr. Pangilinan said in her message. Early diagnosis, treatment, care and support, including a non-stigma approach and non-discriminatory environment is favorable for infected persons, it was known.
The ABCDE for the prevention of AIDS are: Abstinence; Be Faithful; Careful Sex; Don’t Share Needles; Education and information.
Other offices represented in the forum include the Baguio AIDS watch council, City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), Department of Education (Dep-Ed), Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), among other national and local agencies./Julie G. Fianza