The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. or PLCPD together with some members of the legislative and other concern individuals, took initiative to orient online media people about HIV in the Philippines.
Their findings show that HIV-infection cases in the country is increasing over the years. What’s more alarming is that, people getting infected are getting younger.
There is an appalling rise of HIV-positive individuals from age bracket 15 to 24. While, majority of HIV-infected cases came from the productive ages of 20 to 39.
AIDS registry show that there are 12,791 cumulative HIV positives since 1984, UNAIDS projects total of 28,072 actual cases.
“Such discrepancy in figures is due to the wariness of the citiznery to have themselves tested of the virus. Since stigma and discrimination to Person Living with HIV (PLHIV) is too rampant, people don’t want to be tested. Worse, fifty percent of those who take the test do not go back for the results.” Teresita Marie Bagasao, UNAIDS Country Coordinator
“With Yes2Test, PLCPD wishes to encourage people to have themselves tested of HIV. We are bringing this concern into the 16th Congress and as part of our mandate, we shall also urge our lawmakers to work on bills that would help prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS,” said PLCPD executive Director Rom Dongeto.
Also present in the forum were AIDS Prevention and Control Consultant Karl Reiner Agbulos, Michael David Tan of OutrageMag.com and HIV-positive and now HIV-prevention advocate Wanggo Gallaga.
Why Should You Care?
Sometimes, having a “holier art thou” syndrome is more fatal than having any time of sickness. Even if you are not infected, it is a matter of your concern as well. For all you know, one of your relatives, friends, colleagues might be infected or in the verge of being infected with HIV.
Most of the times, it only gets real to you, until a person you know or close to you gets it.
Before the actual HIV infection hits you or anyone close to you, why not learn about it, NOW?
Knowing about HIV is your first line of protection against it – not any medicine, condom or artificial remedies. Because at the end of the day:
PREVENTION IS STILL BETTER THAN ANY CURE.
So, what about HIV?
HIV and AIDS may be related, but they are the same. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the VIRUS that causes individuals to have weaker immune system that CAN and MAY lead to AIDS.
AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is the condition wherein HIV positive individuals reach a certain point where HIV has severely damaged an HIV-positive individuals immune system causing other infections to easily penetrate and damage the body even more.
HIV is the VIRUS – AIDS is the CONDITION.
How can you get HIV?
HIV can only be transferred through exchange of body fluids like blood, semen, vaginal secretion and breast milk.
Researches show that SEX, unprotected sex, is the primary means on how HIV is transferred. Other findings show that the re-using and sharing of needles (usually during drug-related addictions) by individuals is another means of transfer of HIV.
Another is by means of breastfeeding of HIV-positive mothers to their babies.
HIV cannot be transferred by casual contact like hugging and handshaking.
Does HIV have a cure?”
HIV and AIDS is still NOT CURABLE.
However, there is an antiretroviral medication that can be taken by HIV-positive individuals so that the progression of HIV can be delayed.
Thus, let HIV-positive people stay healthy for years, however, it does not get rid of the HIV from their bodies.
Who are at risk of having HIV?
Findings show people with high risk of getting HIV are:
- sex workers
- males who have sex with males
- people who inject drugs (PWID)
What Can You Do to Help?
Different folks, different strokes. We all have are part to take to curb the spread (if not eradicate) the virus.
I have listed some of my personal suggestions regarding HIV and AIDS.
As an individual
Your first line of defense, is NOT condom or protected sex. Even if you wear hazmat suits, you can still be at risk, if at the very core of your heart and mind you
For unmarried individuals, ABSTINENCE (for unmarried individuals) is your BEST protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
If you are in a situation wherein you had been or you are active in sex, then, TAKE THE HIVE TEST.
This can help you know your REAL standing as far as HIV is concern.
As a Husband or Wife
Honor your marriage bed. Do not sleep around. Take only your husband or wife as your sex partner for life. It wouldn’t hurt if you do so. Rather it will be healthier for you and your spouse – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
As a Parent
It is your responsibility to influence and discipline your child to be at their best. One key thing is teach them how to honor their bodies. This way, there is a higher chance, that they would stay away from doing things that could harm them. Like premarital sex, drugs and the likes.
As a relative or friend or colleague
As a relative or friend or colleague, one is to introduce and talk about the seriousness and reality of HIV. Sometimes, talking people about it can influence them to educate themselves as well about the virus. That way, you could open channels for them to prevent it.
As an Educator
Educators need to take ACTIVE roles in helping fight the HIV. By educating students about the students. It can be done as a formal subject for a day or two, or even a side-topic for a special project. One way or another, educators can influence or at least “initiate” the curiosity on students for them to take it seriously.
We all have are take on HIV. No matter where you are, where your stand to is, one thing is for sure:
WE ALL WANTED TO STOP THE SPREAD OF HIV.
So, take the HIV test (if you feel you’re at risk).
Encourage people you think might be at risk to take it.
And HELP stopping HIV by educating yourself and other people close to you about it.
Little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Thus, we must have the RIGHT mindset on this matter to minimize, if not stop, the spread of HIV.