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FPOP Baguio leads candle lighting ceremony for HIV/AIDS

BAGUIO CITY (PIA) - - The Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) Baguio led an offering of prayer and candle lighting ceremony at Malcolm Square here last May 8 in continuing efforts to further raise public awareness on HIV/AIDS(Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) and to rally the community in HIV prevention and control, and in breaking down the stigma for people living with HIV and their families.


 With the theme “Keeping the Light, Honoring our Rights, Radiating our Pride”, the activity was conducted in partnership the City Government of Baguio, the City Health Services Office, Department of Health, Baguio AIDS Watch Council, Love Yourself, Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc.,AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Northern Sanctuary and Metropolitan Community Church.


Through the event, the FPOP and its partners also provided IEC (information, education and communication) materials, family planning tools such as condoms with lubricants, and free HIV screening. They also engaged the public in fun games.

FPOP Baguio and partners, along with the public joining the offering of candles for those who died of HIV/AIDS at the Malcolm Square. (CCD/PIA CAR)

Councilor Levy Lloyd Orcalles, in his message, assured the city government’s commitment in ensuring a pro –active approach in dealing with HIV/AIDS. He also called for continuing partnership with the people and all sectors of society in the campaign against HIV/AIDS.


“Kailangan nating magtulungan para hindi na madagdagan ang mga kapatid nating pumanaw dahil sa HIV/AIDS”, Orcalles stressed.


Michelle Dominique Garcia of the City HIV Treatment Hub also assured the City Health Services Office’s commitment in providing health care and in standing   side by side with People Living with HIV/AIDS.


Based on the Department of Health data, Baguio City has recorded 494 HIV cases from the start of monitoring in 1984 up to February this year. There is noted increase of HIV among the youth and working age with 141 cases   in the 15 – 24 age group, and 231     in the 25 – 34 years old bracket.


There were 106 cases in the 35 – 49 years old bracket, 14 cases among 50 years and older, and two cases   of   below 15 years old.


 The May 8 event was in line with the observance of International Candlelight Memorial Day, traditionally observed every third Sunday of May   to commemorate the lives lost due to AIDS, honor those who are dedicating their life to helping people living and affected by HIV and to continue to mobilize the community in solidarity. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)

Youth volunteers writing their HIV/AIDS advocacy message at the freedom wall during the event. (CCD/PIA CAR)

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