BAGUIO CITY, June 5(PIA) -- The city government of Baguio thru the City Health Services Office and the other government and non-government organizations in Baguio City successfully held the annual AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) Candlelight Memorial recently despite the cancelation of the candlelight parade and change of venue due to the rainy weather.
The AIDS Watch Council with the CHSO, the City Social Welfare and Development Office, Department of Health, and the various non-government organizations and the night establishments led by the Baguio Association of Bars and Entertainments (BABES) and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and representatives from various sectors supported the annual commemoration and candle light ceremony to pay tribute to those who have lost their battle against HIV( human immunodeficiency virus)
-AIDS. They offered prayers and sang songs as well.
CHSO Medical Officer Dr. Celia Flor Brillantes said the ceremony is for those who have died in the country due to HIV-AIDS as well as those People Living with HIV (PLHIV). It is also venue to let the various participants be enlightened on HIV-AIDS, its effects- that it would eventually lead to death if people would not be aware and careful of their actions especially those who are sexually active.
BABES President Allan Bandoy said the night entertainers and workers are present to show that they support the call for more HIV-AIDS awareness particularly on their sector which is affected by the disease.
One of the county’s national HIV ambassadors came to share his experiences since he was diagnosed with HIV until he was able to recover and now serving as one of the speakers to help in the awareness of HIV-AIDS in the country.
The event was capped by the call for awareness among the participants and the public on HIV and AIDS.
DOH-CAR reported earlier this year that the average of individuals tested to be HIV positive in the country is pegged at 28. Most cases in the region are recorded in Baguio City and mostly Men-Having-Sex-with-Men (MSMs).
From 1984 to February 2017, DOH has recorded a total of 209 HIV cases in Baguio City; 31 in Benguet; 29 in Abra; 9 in Apayao; 7 in Ifugao and with 5 cases in Kalinga and Mountain Province. (JDP/RMC/ J. Dar & M. Jimenez-PIA CAR/ UC Interns)