HIV - AIDS aware­ness pushed in schools

Sun.Star Baguio - - Front Page - Jonathan Llanes Sun*Star Re­porter

34 – year - old fe­male with HIV-AIDS in Baguio City is call­ing on the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion to in­ten­sify its ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness cam­paign for stu­dents.

Dur­ing the Baguio World AIDS Day cel­e­bra­tion, Rose (not her real name) said bas­ing from her ex­pe­ri­ence with her grade 7 child, no ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness pro­grams are be­ing im­ple­mented in the schools.

“The threat of hav­ing or ac­quir­ing HIVAIDS is re­ally se­ri­ous and hav­ing the in­for­ma­tion and be­ing aware on the neg­a­tive ef­fects of HIV-AIDS es­pe­cially to the youth is very very im­por­tant. My daugh­ter told me that there were no ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams be­ing done re­gard­ing

of HIVAIDS,” Rose said.

This even with the is­suance of Deped or­der is­sued June 13, 2012 which or­ders the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the School-Based HIV and AIDS Ed­u­ca­tIon Pro­gram(SBHAEP) of the agency start­ing with Un­der­sec­re­taries, As­sis­tant Sec­re­taries, Bu­reau Di­rec­tors, Re­gional Di­rec­tors, Schools Di­vi­sion/City Su­per­in­ten­dents, Heads, Pub­lic and Pri­vate Ele­men­tary and Se­condary Schools.

Pur­suant to Repub­lic Act (RA) No. 8504 oth­er­wise known as the “Philip­pine AIDS Pre­ven­tion and Con­trol Act of 1998” and the Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (CSC) An­nounce­ment No. 21 dated March 25, 2010 en­ti­tled “Guide­lines in the Im­ple­men­ta­tion of Work­place Pol­icy and Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram on HIV and AIDS” and in com­pli­ance with its du­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as a mem­ber of the Philip­pine Na­tional AIDS Coun­cil (PNAC), the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion (DepEd) will ac­cel­er­ate the Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the School-Based HIV and AIDS Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­gram (SBHAEP) na­tion­wide.

“I was dis­cov­ered hav­ing HIV-AIDS some 10 years ago and I would not want my three chil­dren to suf­fer dis­crim­i­na­tion and in­stead I want them and all other stu­dents to be ed­u­cated and aware of HIV-AIDS for them to know what to do,” Rose added.

Based on the DepEd or­der, the move is guided by a deep sense of ur­gency to ad­dress the un­abated in­crease in the in­ci­dence of Hu­man Im­mun­od­e­fi­ciency Virus (HIV) in­fec­tion among key af­fected pop­u­la­tions in high­risk ar­eas in the coun­try.

The Philip­pines is one of two coun­tries in Asia which has reg­is­tered a spike in HIV in­ci­dence in re­cent years, while the rest of the re­gion has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a down­trend on this re­gard.

The or­der also states the Health and Nutri­tion Cen­ter (HNC) shall con­duct the Ori­en­ta­tion and Train­ing Work­shops on HIV and AIDS Ed­u­ca­tion among the teach­ing and non-teach­ing per­son­nel in iden­ti­fied HIV and AIDS hot spots na­tion­wide.

And as the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of this De­part­ment in the PNAC, the Un­der­sec­re­tary for Le­gal and Leg­isla­tive Af­fairs will spear­head the mon­i­tor­ing of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pro­gram in com­pli­ance with the said Or­der through an Im­me­di­ate dis­sem­i­na­tion of and strict com­pli­ance with this Or­der as di­rected.

Dra. Celia Flor Bril­liantes of the Baguio Health De­part­ment (BHD) have ear­lier stated based on their record there are 28 cases of HIV-AIDS in Baguio City, with 26 of these males and 2 fe­males.

These are com­ing from the 25-34 age group which are the work­ing class and con­sid­ered the age group hav­ing the most num­ber HIV-AIDS not only in the city but na­tion­wide.

Dra. Rowena Galpo also from the BHD ex­plained the num­ber of HIV – AIDS cases in the Sum­mer Cap­i­tal is in­creas­ing and sees the need to ex­pand its pro­grams against the spread of the dreaded dis­ease.

“We are look­ing at the re­pro­duc­tive age, but we also see an in­crease in cases among the teen ages and youth which is a cause for alarm,” Galpo states.

Photo by Jean Ni­cole Cortes

CHRIST­MAS IN THE VAL­LEY. Res­i­dents of La Trinidad, Benguet gather around the mini Christ­mas vil­lage setup in­side the mu­nic­i­pal hall which opens from 6 to 10pm.

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