USTP Claveria conducts HIV/AIDS awareness symposium

By Carlos Ian H. Mendoza & Aire Jade L. Taga, USTP Claveria STRATCOMM

To prevent the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), the USTP Claveria Health Services and its Student Affairs Office, in collaboration with the Rural Health Unit of Claveria, Misamis Oriental, held an HIV/AIDS awareness symposium in campus on April 18-19, 2023.

According to UNICEF, the Philippines continues to have one of the highest-growing numbers of HIV cases, with approximately 32 new cases of infection every day. The largest at-risk population is young people, with 2 in 3 being between the ages of 15 and 24, according to studies conducted over the last five years.

Ms. May C. Militante, Nurse III and Coordinator of Mental Health (CURATIVE), informed the audience that they are focusing on students because HIV primarily affects people aged 12 to 24.

“We need to empower our students and provide them with accurate information about the basics of HIV/AIDS in order for them to avoid contracting the virus,” Militante noted during her presentation.

“We need to train them, increase their knowledge, and encourage behavior change in order for them to become an effective messenger among their peers in order for them to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in schools and the community,” she added.

In the meantime, Ms. Ariane Mae R. Macadenden, Nurse II, Assistant Focal Person – Family Planning, spoke about Fertility Awareness and Teenage Pregnancy.

According to Macadenden, The goal is to educate students on (a) what HIV and AIDS are, as well as other sexually transmitted illnesses, with a focus on transmission, prevention, and treatment, (b) facts and myths concerning HIV, AIDS, and sexually transmitted infections, (c) raise awareness on the significance of HIV and other HTI tests, (d) raise knowledge about the availability of services for teenagers and young adults, and (e) remove stigma and discrimination against persons who are infected or affected.