CITY OF MALOLOS – The Provincial Government of Bulacan through the Provincial Public Health Office and Department of Health-Region 3 created a pool of trainers who will reinforce public awareness on Human Immunodeficiency Virus and other Sexually Transmissible Infections during the three-day Trainers’ Course on HIV and STIs Education at the Widus Hotel, Clarkfield, Angeles City, Pampanga recently.
Mr. Celestino Ramirez, HIV master trainer from the DOH and Joseph Michael Manlutac, regional HIV program coordinator, introduced a book entitled Basic STI, HIV and AIDS Education Module: Trainer’s Guide First Edition and discussed how the book can be used for speaking engagements as an aid to combat the increasing number of persons living with HIV.
The book includes seven modules namely the rationale for STI, HIV and AIDS Education; Republic Act No. 8504 or the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998; Gender, Sex, Sexuality and Reproductive Health; The Basics of STI, HIV and AIDS; The Impact of HIV and AIDS; The Country Response; and the Challenges to the Country Response.
According to the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry Epidemiology Bureau, there were a total of 35,765 cases of HIV and AIDS in the country since 1984 and is now averaging 26 cases per day.
“The Philippines is one of only seven countries in the world where new cases are rising. Therefore everyone must be vigilant enough to fight this battle that is trying to defeat our defense, because HIV is attacking our immune system and it is our defense to infections,” Ramirez explained.
Meanwhile, the bureau reported that there were 2,887 cases in Central Luzon for the same duration wherein 948 of which came from Bulacan.
Bulacan Provincial Administrator Eugenio Payongayong said that this is a problem not only of the infected person but also of their family, the society where they belong and the government.
HIV can only infect humans and can be transmitted through unprotected penetrative sexual intercourse, infected blood and blood products and mother to child.
“We do not deprive the person living with HIV of their human rights just as long as they do it safe and responsibly. We should remember that all it takes for a person to be infected with HIV could just be one exposure and there’s no cure for it, only medicines to delay the progression of the disease,” Ramirez said.
He also encouraged the community in general to do the A, B, C, D, E of prevention, the Abstinence meaning do not have sex, Be monogamous or have only one sexual partner, Correct and consistent use of condom and safer sex practices, Do not inject drugs and Educating the public about HIV and AIDS.
At the end of the training, the trainees came up with action plans to conduct public awareness within one year in their respective areas.
Participants in the said training include the Department of Interior and Local Government-Bulacan, Department of Education-Bulacan, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-Region 3, Bulacan State University, Baliwag University, Bulacan Polytechnic College, Philippine National Red Cross, PGB departments such as Provincial Public Affairs Office, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, and Provincial Youth, Sports Employment and Development Office.