“We must stop the division among us. We must stop factionalism, must embrace unity and work together, because if we are divided, we will not be able to win,” Darwin Babon of DOH – CAR appealed as he presented during the Provincial Local Aids Council (PLAC) meeting the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/AIDS status of the province.
DOH records show Ifugao has registered 16 HIV/AIDS cases with three deaths from 1984 to 2018. These cases were mostly transmitted through male having sex with male. Most of the cases belonged to 25-34 age group with eight and five in the 15-24 age bracket.
Babon encouraged the representatives of the 11 municipalities who attended the meeting to reorganize their respective local aid councils using the guidelines stipulated under Department of the Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular No. 2013-29 dated April 3, 2013 “Strengthening Local Responses Toward More Effective and Sustained Responses to HIV and AIDS."
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Mary Josephine Dulawan reported that to help in the prevention of said ailments, an intensive information education campaign is being conducted in the grassroots level by health care providers and other stake holders.
Other efforts include HIV testing and counseling, training of medical technologist on HIV proficiency and other technical assistance to local government units and other health providers in the province.
The LAC members also held a candle lighting and offered a minute of prayer for all victims of HIV/AIDs in participation to the 36th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial. (JDP/MBL- PIA CAR, Ifugao)
By Marcelo B. Lihgawon