Baguio to hold AIDS candlelight ceremony May 24

The City Health Services Office (CHSO) will hold the annual Acute Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) candle lighting ceremony at the CHSO compound along Teodora Alonzo Street, here, on May 4, 2018 to remind the public of the importance of refraining from unprotected sex so as not to contract the dreaded illness.

CHSO Nurse Cristina Juan invites the public to attend the said ceremony to instill awareness on the importance of being fully aware of the programs, interventions and activities of concerned government agencies and the local government to significantly reduce the number of people afflicted with the human immune virus (HIV), the initial stage of full blown AIDS.

She assured the local government remains committed in enhancing its massive information and education campaign, especially to the high risk sectors, to prevent the dreaded illness from going out of control which afflict innocent individuals in the different parts of the city.

“We hope that we will be able to gather the support of our city officials and residents in the annual candle lighting ceremony for us to remember those who have already gone ahead of us because of the dreaded illness, those who are currently infected with the illness and concerned sectors who are supportive of the various programs and interventions, to make people aware on how to get rid of the virus,” Juan stressed.

The nurse reported to date, there are some 30 HIV-infected individuals who are undergoing the required interventions by the local government where 10 are said to be newly discovered HIV cases while the 20 other individuals were detected to have HIV last year and are pursuing the process of being cured.

According to her, all the newly discovered HIV cases in the city are males and those who are considered to be men having sex with men that is why the local health department is intensifying its awareness programs for people to understand and internalize the importance of being able to be healthy by embracing the practice of safe sex.

Juan explained that commercial sex workers infected with the HIV virus seems to be on a down trend due to the interventions by the local health department, particularly the conduct of weekly check-ups of their health status, among other vital interventions to make them aware of the risk of being involved in the commercial sex trade.

She admitted people who continue to engage in unprotected sex are the ones who easily contract the dreaded virus with almost all to be men having sex with men thereby putting to risk their multiple partners into being afflicted with the disease.

Juan admitted that for the past several years, there has been a constant increase in the number of HIV cases being discovered by the local health department following the enhanced awareness campaign for people having multiple partners to undergo regular check-ups with the nearest health facility in the city or in their places for the early detection of the illness and the provision of the necessary interventions.- Dexter A. See