DEPARTMENT of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has conducted a one-day consultative workshop on Human Immuno Virus-Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV-Aids) in Zamboanga City.

The seminar held Saturday was aimed to support and strengthen the role of social workers, community volunteers and health workers in promoting the rights and welfare of the persons living with HIV-Aids or the so-called PLHIV.

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DSWD Regional Director Teodulo Romo said there is a need to come up with ways on how to help the PLHIV and their families, considering the stigma and discrimination they experienced.

Romo said they hope to look into the psychological aspect of the persons and the affected families with the goal of providing them opportunities to participate in livelihood and skills training program that will empower and maintain their normalcy as individuals in the community.

Gemma Gabuya, officer-in-charge of DSWD central office’ Social Technology Bureau, said the activity is a preparatory for the implementation of the care and support services for PLHIV and their families that was earlier pilot-tested in the National Capital Region and Central Luzon.

The alarming increase of HIV-Aids cases have prompted the National Government to enforce the Philippines Aids law, otherwise known as the Republic Act 8504.

The National Government has mandated the DSWD to provide assessment for livelihood opportunities to the infected and affected persons and the community, and to develop programs that will look into their welfare. (Bong Garcia)