Provincial Government of Bulacan

PGB considers sexually transmitted infections as a serious threat to health, says it’s a ‘silent epidemic’

CITY OF MALOLOS- On its third webinar series, YouthTube or Youth Talakayan, Ugnayan, Balitaan Etc. tackled Sexually Transmitted Infections to help the youth understand and help them make informed and intelligent judgment on having a healthy life during an online program with Sangguniang Kabataan presidents in the province recently.

This is also in response to the directive of Gov. Daniel R. Fernando to come up with programs that will reach and educate Bulakenyos especially during this time of pandemic.

“We felt this need of educating the youth about having a healthy relationship and life. Social awareness is important not only for ourselves but also to be able to pass on the knowledge to our peers, family and community as active advocate of healthy life,” Fernando said.

“We should be comfortable discussing sex and its implications, we should be responsible of our health and the people that could be affected by our choices and actions, we answer not only to ourselves,” Atty. Kenneth Ocampo-Lantin, Provincial Youth, Sports, and Public Employment Service Office (PYSPESO) head said.

Dr. Francis Carlos, HIV/AIDS Core Team Leader-Bulacan Medical Center, discussed the common STIs that can be acquired including bacterial, viral, protozoal, fungal and skin parasites and their common signs and symptoms such as painful or burning urination, severe itch, unusual or odd-smelling discharge, and pain during sex among others.

“Sa amin sa medical, kung mangyari man at hindi napigilan ang premarital sex o ang pakikipagtalik, at least we know how to prevent STIs. We should remember, not only is prevention better than cure but it is also cheaper, mas mababa din ang chances ng complications,” Dr. Carlos said.

According to the data from the Department of Health, among the STIs, HIV is the most common and there are 78,539 cumulative HIV cases from January 1984 up to present from which 15-34 years old comprises the highest cases.

In Bulacan, there are 2,729 cases from which the City of San Jose del Monte has the highest cases with 507 and among the incidents, male to male sexual contact remains the predominant mode of transition with 60% while 22% are those who have sex with both male and female.

In addition, Carlos explained that when one thinks he is exposed, HIV screening and medication are free which are strictly voluntary and confidential.

He ended his presentation by explaining the ABCDEs of prevention that means Abstinence, Be monogamous, Correct and consistent use of condom, Do not inject drugs and Educate and early detection.

Moreover, Bryant Villanueva from DepEd Bulacan said that they have incorporated adolescent reproductive health program in schools and established teen center in secondary schools for peer to peer discussion.

Also, Katherine Faustino from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office shared that the PGB is continuously conducting seminars to discuss this matter and said that they have a program called Teen Talks where youngsters may call and ask them about any concerns through their 09162348154 hotline number.

She added that currently, there are seven active treatment hub facilities in Bulacan including the Luntiang Silong in Bulacan Medical Center located at 3rd Floor, Pay 3 – Room 301 in Brgy. Mojon here; EmbrACE Unit at the ACE Medical Center in Baliwag; Gintong Kanlungan at Guiguinto RHU II in Brgy. Tiaong, Guiguinto; Kanaryong Silungan in Marilao RHU I; Home of Bamboo at the City of Meycauayan RHU I; Villa Ezperanza in Ospital ng Lungsod ng San Jose Del Monte and Green Clinic in Santa Maria RHU atCaypombo, Santa Maria.

These hubs can be reachee through contact numbers 0923.405.1309 / 0915.521.4322, 0933.873.7688, 0975.465.4515 / 0935 063 4198, 0942.993.9238 / 0942.993.9338, 044.764.0684 / 0917.323.6972, 0947.754.3406 / 0917.459.2984, and 0917.127.5197respectively. ###