TALISAY’S City Council has approved an ordinance creating a multi-sectoral council that will focus on preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS in the city.

According to Ordinance 2015-17, the Talisay City Multi-Sectoral STI/AIDS Council will be “the central advisory, planning and policy-making body on the prevention and control” of sexually-transmitted infections (STI), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Talisay Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante attested to the ordinance, which Talisay Mayor Johnny De Los Reyes also approved.

The ordinance was submitted to the Provincial Board (PB) for review by the committee on public health and social welfare headed by PB Member Peter John Calderon.

In Central Visayas, Cebu tops the list with 67 persons confirmed to be living with Aids and 1,872 others having tested positive for HIV but who have yet to show or feel symptoms.

Mayor, health committee chair in charge

According to the Department of Health (DOH), at least 62 people in Central Visayas have died because of AIDS complications since 1984.

Earlier, DOH 7 Assistant Director Dr. Lakshmi Legaspi said it’s becoming very alarming because the number of persons with HIV has risen by 33 percent so far this year.

The Talisay City Multi-Sectoral STI/AIDS Council will be headed by the mayor. The City Council’s committee on health chair will serve as the STI/AIDS Council’s vice chair.

Among the functions of the council is to formulate policies and strategies to prevent and control these diseases within the city. It is also tasked to prepare short, medium and long-term plans for the prevention of STI, HIV and AIDS.

It has to organize and encourage owners or managers of registered entertainment establishments, sauna and massage parlors to participate in prevention programs; and conduct yearly serological and behavioral surveillance in coordination with the Social Hygiene Clinic (SHC) and DOH among people with high-risk sexual behavior.

No seminar, no permit

Managers and operators of entertainment establishments, barbershops and massage clinics will be mandated to attend seminars for the prevention of such diseases.

The establishment will not be allowed to operate unless a certificate of attendance has been issued to the operator and employees.

The ordinance added that entertainers, masseurs and the like will be required to undergo weekly check-up at the SHC of the City Health Department.