Feature: Painting Iloilo red on December 1
by T. Villavert
Iloilo City (30 November) -- Literally, government and non-government organizations wearing red ribbons in Iloilo City will observe the World AIDS Day on December 1 with a massive distribution of information materials and other health services that will help heighten public's awareness on the dreaded HIV/AIDS.
The red ribbon is an international symbol of AIDS worn by people around the world to demonstrate concern about HIV and AIDS, and to remind others of the need for their support and commitment.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a lentivirus (a member of the retrovirus family) that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition in humans in which the immune system begins to fail, leading to life-threatening opportunistic infections.
In Western Visayas DOH 6 has recorded some 117 People Living with HIV in Western Visayas from 1994 to October 2010. Of this figure 31 died and leaving PLWHAs currently receiving health services from the government and NGOs.
Ms. Charity Perea, regional STI and AIDS Coordinator of the Department of Health, Region 6, said that the highlight of the December 1 World AIDS Day is the inauguration of the halfway home situated in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo.
The half-way home situated in a health facility in said place is an old building which the DOH 6 renovated and will serve People Living with HIV and AIDS or PLWHAs from other provinces of Western Visayas who come to Iloilo City to seek medication at the Western Visayas Medical Center where the HIV and AIDS Core Team (HACT) is housed.
It will be recalled that DOH 6 Director Ariel Valencia said in a PIA interview that when the place is ready the DOH will also be tapping the services of the TESDA, DSWD and other agencies to provide the PLWHAs with skills that will eventually help them for their livelihood".
The theme of the World AIDS Day observance is "Universal Access and Human Rights". (PIA6) [top]