SAN FERNANDO CITY, Dec. 1 (PIA) - To listen to them, talk to and provide support. Don't discriminate.
These are what persons living with HIV (PLHIVs) need from the people around them.
This was shared by JM Flores, a PLHIV from Pangasinan, during the Department of Health in the Ilocos' (DOH-1) initiated webinar dubbed: "Ending the Syndemics, Stop HIV! End TB!" as part of the World AIDS Day observance on December 1.
"There are 16 social hygiene clinics in the region which provides HIV services like advocacy, HIV screening and counselling," Ana Fe Perez, Nurse IV, Program Manager for HIV-AIDS in the DOH-1, said.
She added, "For those reactive in the screening, they are referred for confirmatory test in the nearest treatment hubs like the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center or the Region 1 Medical Center wherein they are provided further counselling, treatment and medication."
In La Union, the San Fernando City Health Office and the Bauang Rural Health Unit provide such in their social hygiene clinics.
As part of the observance of the World AIDS Day 2020, different health offices and hospitals in the Ilocos region joined the annual candle-lighting ceremony.
Earlier, the Provincial Health Office also initiated contests like the online poster-slogan and audio-visual presentation-making anchored on the theme: "Raising Awareness Campaign on HIV-AIDS amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic."
Bauang Health Office during the Monday flag raising ceremony gave a briefing on the HIV-AIDS national situation and the process in availing of the HIV screening.
In Caba town, aside from an information dissemination drive, the Municipal Heath Office distributed hygiene kits to representatives of the Sangguniang Kabataan.
The Municipal Health Office of Aringay also led a free HIV screening today.
In a press statement issued by the Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, he said that "an average of 21 new HIV cases are reported per day which means that the country is facing a public health threat needing the cooperation and collaboration of all communities, civil society organizations, and the government."
According to the DOH HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP), in October 2020, there were a total of 735 confirmed HIV-positive individuals.
Ninety-six percent or 706 of which are male.
There are now a total of 81,169 HIV and AIDS cases reported from January 1984 to October 2020.
Global theme for this year is "Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility." (JCR/AMB/JDS/PIA La Union)