Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"No Sshh for Victoria Court's Stop HIV Campaign"

By: Alvin Cloyd Dakis, RN
Featured on Mulat Pinoy

No hush signs for this year's Stop HIV Campaign of Victoria Court for their 25th Anniversary this coming July 29, 2011. The known chain of hotels continued its support in the global campaign against HIV & AIDS through creating cause-driven events.

The Stop HIV Campaign of Victoria Court aims to further inform people about HIV and the issues attached to it. This year Victoria Court partners with different HIV advocates and celebrities to come up with Stop HIV advocacy video. The video shows featured messages to the public about the disease and how one can prevent from getting it. 

A Rising Case

The National Epidemiology Center of the Department of Health released it's HIV/AIDS Registry for May 2011 and recorded 184 new sero-positive cases. 92% of these are males with the median age of 28 but young people aged 20-29 had the most number of cases. Sexual contact still accounts for the highest rate of transmission followed by the sharing of non-sterile drug needles. For sexual contact, males having sex with males still remain predominant.

Despite of the country's apparent low prevalence of HIV, the exponential rise of new HIV & AIDS cases in  the country has been a great concern. Just this year, the country was enlisted as one of the seven (7) countries in the world with steadily increasing HIV infection together with Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, and Tajikistan. The Philippines has more than 25% increase in HIV incidence since 2001. 

Speaking Up

One of the efforts made to address the increasing concern on HIV infection in the country was made through using the media. Celebrities gathered and spoke about HIV such as the guys of Boys Night Out. HIV Advocates gave their strong messages to continue fighting the disease & for keeping safe. 

Ana Santos, a journalist and sexual health educator & HIV advocate says that having her met mothers who have been infected by HIV made her want to do something to inform people about it and somehow reducing the stigma and discrimination against People Living with HIV (PLHIV). "I simply could not let HIV affect another person I love." Ana said.

Ssshing HIV 

Victoria Court's 25th Anniversary is not just about having fun & celebrating their wondrous 25 years but it also aims to further the cause of halting HIV infection in the country. Their Stop HIV Campaign video will be launched there at the event and shall be shown to all Victoria Court branches. 

The event will also try to provide an area for confidential HIV testing & counseling with the help of HIV advocacy groups. In this way, each helps in increasing awareness on HIV & encouraging people to voluntarily have themselves tested. 

Alvin Dakis is the Founder & President of AYNLA - a national nursing advocacy organization that helps in the HIV awareness advocacy worldwide.  He is also an HIV educator & speaker and blogs about health & social issues. Email: alvin(dot)dakis(at)aynla(dot)org

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