To provide awareness and information on the current situation of human immunodeficiency virus in the province, the Department of Health-CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), together with the Department of Education—Bacoor City and the Bacoor City Social Hygiene Clinic conducted a one-day “Peer Educator’s Training for Junior and Senior Students and Teachers on HIV/AIDS.”
Regional Director Eduardo Janairo said the increasing number of HIV/AIDS infection in the country prompted Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III to implement Republic Act 11166, otherwise known as the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act repealing old HIV Law (RA 8504).
This aims to effectively address the growing HIV epidemic in the country by forging stronger alliance among government, private sector, civil society organizations, faith-based organizations, media, and all stakeholders.
The training was conducted for various public and private schools of the City of Bacoor in Cavite.
Dr. Michael Angelo Marquez, medical officer III and head of the City Social Hygiene Clinic, said they have targeted students for the seminar workshop because more new HIV cases are being reported among youths between age 12-24 years old.
“We need to empower our students and give them the proper and accurate information on the basic of HIV/AIDS for them to avoid acquiring the virus.”
“We need to train them, increase their knowledge and encourage behavior change for them to become an effective messenger among their peers for preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the school and the community,” added Marquez.
Marquez disclosed that Bacoor City in Cavite registered the highest cases of HIV/AIDS in the region with 726 followed by Dasmarinas with 686 and Imus City - 616, from 1984 to April 2019.
He also noted that all new confirmed cases last April are from the 15-24 age group.
The HIV/AIDS Registry of the Philippines (HARP), recorded a total of 9,926 HIV/AIDS cases in the region from 1984 to April 2019. Provinces with the greatest number of cases is Cavite with 3,555 followed by Rizal with 2,667 and Laguna with 2,032. Batangas recorded a total of 1,141 and Quezon with 531 cases.
Most affected age group is 25-34 years old with 5,187 cases reported followed by 15-24-year-old with 2,673 cases and 35-49 years old with 1,773 cases.
Dr. Mary Grace E. Javier, Medical Officer III of DepEd Bacoor City said that the activity is part of the “Oplan Kalusugan sa Department of Education” (OK sa DepED) which is a convergence of health programs and activities aim to provide students with health education and services to allow them to attain their full educational potential.
“The objective is to educate the youth and hear-out their concerns on age-appropriate issues particularly adolescent reproductive health and also ensure wellness of DepEd personnel through the provision of basic medical care for better productivity,” she emphasized.
“Peer education training programs are effective ways to deliver risk reduction information because of the trust and confidence. youths rely on their peers for information and they prefer to receive info on most subjects, including sensitive issues such as reproductive health and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV),” she remarked.
The peer educator’s training activity also included lectures on the National Drug Education Program. It was attended by 23 schools represented by 5 students and 2 teachers/guidance counsellor.