MORE than 2,000 individuals wore red to show their support in the campaign to fight against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission during the World Aids Day (WAD) last Tuesday, December 4, 2018.
The event was organized by the Davao City Aids Council (DCAC) and other partner government and non-government agencies. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or Aids is the last stage of HIV infection.
“Na-serve yung purpose na to deliver the message na HIV and Aids ay not only a concern of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community but a concern of everyone,” Olympus Society of Davao president Oscar Obenza said Wednesday, December 5.
He added that with the Pre-WAD activities of the group conducted in the three districts of the city from November 25 to 27, it boosted the information dissemination about HIV. At least 700 more individuals underwent HIV testing on the actual events.
“Malaking factor yung pre-WAD activities sa bawat distrcit. Ang WAD celebration kasi natin ay hindi lang centralized sa city kaya nakuha talaga natin ang participation nila,” Obenza said.
“In one month, grabe din ang dagsa ng mga walk-in clients to do HIV test,” he said, adding that the public are slowly breaking the stigma on HIV and learn that anyone, regardless of gender and status, could be infected of HIV.
Meanwhile, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) commissioner Norman Baloro also attended the WAD celebration.
“Very serious ang problem sa HIV kay wala naga-decrease kundi naga-increase. So maybe awareness, right information and to get involved in a program like this are very necessary and vital (The HIV cases in the country is a very serious problem because it is not decreasing, but rather increasing. So awareness, right information and involvement in programs like this [WAD] are very necessary and vital),” Baloro said in an interview with SunStar Davao.
“I think this is an eye-opener, this is the right avenue nga dili lang magkatapok-tapok ang LGBT but other sectors as well (I think that this event is the right avenue for the LGBT and other sectors in the society to convene together),” he added. (LHC)