CITY OF MALOLOS – As the world commemorates World AIDS Day, Bulakenyos have united and participated in the observation of the World AIDS Day and Regional HIV Testing Month 2020 on Wednesday, held in front of Bustos Municipal Hall to express their support for HIV & AIDS awareness and for People Living with HIV (PLHIV).
Governor Daniel R. Fernando encouraged those who thinks they may have been exposed to get tested to be able to know their real status while reminding everyone that unprotected sex still remains to be the culprit.
“Tandaan po natin ang 3 paraan paano posibleng makuha ang HIV. Una, sa unprotected sex, receiving of contaminated blood at mother-to-child transmission. Mahalaga na magkaroon ng sapat na kaalaman ang ating mga kababayan upang maproteksyunan nila ang kanilang mga sarili sa laban sa HIV and AIDS,” Fernando said.
With the theme ‘Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility’ and ‘Get Tested, Be Treated’, the Provincial Health Office-Public Health convened limited members of the LGBT Bustos and Bulacan Federation for a face-to-face awareness lecture and distribution of condoms.
“Sa buwan na ito, isasagawa ang malawakang HIV testing/screening, HIV awareness lecture at pamimigay ng libreng condom sa 24 na mga bayan at lungsod sa lalawigan upang patuloy na makapagbigay kaalaman patungkol sa sakit na HIV,” Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, PHO-PH head said.
According to World Health Organization, in 2019, there are still 38 million people living with HIV infection, one in five PLHIV were not aware of their infection and one in three people who are receiving HIV treatment experienced disruption to the supply of HIV treatments, testing and prevention services, especially children and adolescents while 690,000 people died from HIV-related causes and 1.7 million people were newly infected.
“Kaya naman sa ating lalawigan, tuluy-tuloy ang ating mga isinasagawang paraan pagdating sa HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Program. Gusto nating makamit ang 90-90-90 kung saan 90% ng mga PLHIV ay sumailalaim sa testing at alam ang kanilang HIV Status, 90% ng mga taong na-diagnose na may HIV ay sumasailalim sa Antiretroviral Therapy at; 90% ng mga taong naggagamot ay virally suppressed,” Gomez said.
She also recognized the Department of Health Designated HIV Treatment Hubs and Primary HIV Care Facilities in the province including Bulacan Medical Center Luntiang Silong, Allied Care Experts Medical Center (EmbrACE Unit) – Baliwag, Guiguinto RHU II Gintong Kanlungan, Meycauayan City Primary HIV Care Clinic, Ospital ng Lungsod ng San Jose Del Monte Villa Esperanza, RE De Jesus Multi-Specialty Clinic and Diagnostic Center (The Green Clinic), and RHU 1 Marilao Bulacan (Kanaryong Silungan) for their efforts in testing of Bulakenyos and most importantly care and treatment of PLHIVs.
Gomez reiterated the importance of A, B, C, D, E or A-abstinence from sex, B-be mutually faithful, C-correct and consistent use of condom, D-don’t do drugs, E-education at early diagnosis in preventing and avoiding HIV.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) targets the immune system and weakens people’s defense against infections. Until now, no cure has been discovered but it can be suppressed by treatment regimens composed by a combination of 3 or more ARV drugs.
Furthermore, the celebration of the province emphasizes the need and importance to eradicate discrimination among PLHIVs thru reiterating that there is still hope and life after knowing their status.