By Armie B. Gunay
NAGA CITY --- Amidst reports of increasing number of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) cases in Bicol, including this city, the City Health Office (CHO) here, in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), recently conducted an HIV summit to campaign for the prevention of the disease.
With the theme, “Finding creative ways to put an end on AIDS”, the summit aimed to remind and share with the community possible and workable means to stop the widespread of the HIV virus.
Barangay officials, health representatives, students, and personnel from the academe in Naga City attended the summit that was held last October 15.
With the increasing number of HIV-AIDS cases being reported every year— reaching 13 cases from January to June this year compared to 4 cases only during that same period last year, Grace Guevara, a Medical Technologist of the Naga City Social Hygiene Clinic, said they are now more aggressive in their campaign to help stem the spread of HIV infection thru the conduct of similar summits, dialogues, and fora to educate the community and raise their awareness on the issue.
Guevara said that thru such activities, they aim to encourage individuals, particularly those engaging in risky sexual behaviors, to undergo examinations so as to be detected of virus infection, if any, early on and be treated accordingly.
With the increasing percentage of HIV cases among the 15-24 age group, Guevara also urged the parents to guide their children, particularly the teenagers, in avoiding unprotected and risky sexual activities.
Aside from the conduct of awareness campaigns like summits, other activities and programs being initiated by the city government include HIV screening and training of community-based screening agents.
The World AIDS Day will be celebrated on December 1, to further community awareness against HIV-AIDS.