WITH the alarming number of persons with HIV in Central Visayas, the Commission on Population (PopCom) 7 urged the education sector to include in their curricula “life skills” needed by teenagers to avoid risky sexual behaviors.

Myrna Alaba, planning officer of PopCom 7, said schools have integrated reproductive health in their curricula but these are just plain information and concepts.

“They (teenagers) know the ill consequences of having unsafe sex, but why are they still doing it? What’s in the book is just basic information. We need to teach them life skills so they will know how to effectively say ‘no’ and make smart decisions,” Alaba said.

She said they are conducting programs for adolescents across the region to learn team-building activities since these provide an avenue for the youth to develop critical thinking.

In 2014, Central Visayas ranked third as having the most number of persons with HIV in the country. Last year, the region climbed to second place, according to the latest data released by the Department of Health.

Most of these cases affect adolescents.

Atty. Bruce Ragas, regional director of PopCom 7, said they are strengthening their implementation of the Responsible Parenthood/Reproductive Health (RP/RH) Law.

“So far sa Cebu, daghan na tang mga local chief executives nga nag-designate og population officers. (So far, in Cebu we already have a lot of local chief executives that have designated population officers). Before the end of this year, we would be able to achieve a hundred percent representation of population officers sa Cebu,” said Ragas.

PopCom 7 also offers family planning services, contraceptives and free HIV testing.