INFORMATION and education campaigns on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are being intensified among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in Davao City.
Data from the Davao City Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Cadac) showed that out of 2,525 HIV positive individuals in the city, there are at least 1,330 males positive with HIV due to male-to-male sexual transmission from 1984 to 2018.
The president of Olympus Society of Davao, Oscar Obenza, said this prompted them to intensify the campaign against HIV-Aids due to the alarming number of male-to-male sexual transmission of HIV.
However, he also said that the data mentioned may also mean that more LGBT members are aware of the HIV.
“Lumilibot kami sa mga LGBT communities sa lahat ng mga barangay kung saan, at the moment, we have 65 organizations na member ng LGBT coalition,” Obenza said in a phone interview with SunStar Davao Wednesday, November 14.
She added that at least 65 LGBT organizations have been tapped for HIV awareness in the city and there are more who seemed to be interested to register in the LGBT coalition to reach a wider scope.
“Wala namang problema. Very supportive ang mga barangay officials na nilalapitan namin, lalo na pag alam nilang na for the LGBT community siya. Though hindi kami nagti-test agad, education muna,” he said.
He further said that the organization together with other partner organizations such as the City Health Office, has been conducting education campaigns even in far-flung areas like Marilog, Lasang, Paquibato, among others.
“Mas nilalapitan din kami ng mga members of the LGBT community kasi nga yung level of comfortability nandun,” Obenza said, adding that it is easy for the organization to conduct education campaigns in the LGBT communities since they particularly understand the status of their co-LGBT members.
At present, the organization conducts HIV screening called “sundown” clinic through their community center until 12 midnight everyday.
The organization also was able to conduct HIV education campaigns in the 14 health districts in the city through the Cadac.