AIDS can­dle­light­ing cer­e­mony set May 24

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THE CITY Health Ser­vices Of­fice (CHSO) will hold the an­nual Acute Im­mune De­fi­ciency Syn­drome (AIDS) can­dle light­ing cer­e­mony at the CHSO com­pound along Teodora Alonzo Street slated May 24.

The an­nual can­dle light­ing cer­e­mony is to re­mind the pub­lic of the im­por­tance of re­frain­ing from un­pro­tected sex so as not to con­tract the dreaded ill­ness.

CHSO Nurse Cristina Juan in­vites the pub­lic to at­tend the cer­e­mony to in­still awareness on the im­por­tance of be­ing fully aware of the pro­grams, in­ter­ven­tions and ac­tiv­i­ties of con­cerned gov­ern­ment agen­cies and the lo­cal gov­ern­ment to sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the num­ber of peo­ple af­flicted with the hu­man im­mune virus (HIV), the ini­tial stage of full blown AIDS.

Juna as­sured the lo­cal gov­ern­ment re­mains com­mit­ted in en­hanc­ing its mas­sive in­for­ma­tion and ed­u­ca­tion campaign, es­pe­cially to the high risk sec­tors, to pre­vent the dreaded ill­ness from go­ing out of con­trol which af­flict in­no­cent in­di­vid­u­als in the dif­fer­ent parts of the city.

“We hope we will be able to gather the sup­port of our city of­fi­cials and res­i­dents in the an­nual can­dle light­ing cer­e­mony for us to re­mem­ber those who have al­ready gone ahead of us be­cause of the dreaded ill­ness, those who are cur­rently in­fected with the ill­ness and con­cerned

sec­tors who are sup­port­ive of the var­i­ous pro­grams and in­ter­ven­tions, to make peo­ple aware on how to get rid of the virus,” Juan stressed.

The nurse re­ported to date, there are some 30 HIV-in­fected in­di­vid­u­als who are un­der­go­ing the re­quired in­ter­ven­tions by the lo­cal gov­ern­ment where 10 are said to be newly dis­cov­ered HIV cases while the 20 other in­di­vid­u­als were de­tected to have HIV last year and are pur­su­ing the process of be­ing cured.

Juan added all newly dis­cov­ered HIV cases in the city are males and those who are con­sid­ered to be men hav­ing sex with men that is why the lo­cal health depart­ment is in­ten­si­fy­ing its awareness pro­grams for peo­ple to un­der­stand and in­ter­nal­ize the im­por­tance of be­ing able to be healthy by em­brac­ing the prac­tice of safe sex.

She ex­plained com­mer­cial sex work­ers in­fected with the HIV virus seems to be on a down trend due to the in­ter­ven­tions by the lo­cal health depart­ment, par­tic­u­larly the con­duct of weekly check-ups of their health sta­tus, among other vi­tal in­ter­ven­tions to make them aware of the risk of be­ing in­volved in the com­mer­cial sex trade.

Juan ad­mit­ted peo­ple who con­tinue to en­gage in un­pro­tected sex are the ones who eas­ily con­tract the dreaded virus with al­most all to be men hav­ing sex with men thereby putting to risk their mul­ti­ple part­ners into be­ing af­flicted with the dis­ease.

For the past sev­eral years, Juan added there has been a con­stant in­crease in the num­ber of HIV cases be­ing dis­cov­ered by the lo­cal health depart­ment fol­low­ing the en­hanced awareness campaign for peo­ple hav­ing mul­ti­ple part­ners to un­dergo reg­u­lar check­ups with the near­est health fa­cil­ity in the city or in their places for the early de­tec­tion of the ill­ness and the pro­vi­sion of the nec­es­sary in­ter­ven­tions.

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