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PIA Press Release

Halfway home for PLHIV, AIDS inauguration set

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (30 November) -- Assistant Secretary Paulyn Jean Russel Ubial of the Department of Health will inaugurate today (December 1) the Halfway Home for People Living with HIV and AIDS in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo.

The activity is the highlight of the observance of December 1 as the World AIDS Day with the theme "Universal Access and Human Rights".

Mrs. Charity Perea, regional STI and AIDS Coordinator of DOH in Western Visayas said that the halfway home is situated with in the Santa Barbara Leprosarium, Iloilo and it is some 15.7 kilometers away from the City of Iloilo.

It will be recalled that Director Ariel Valencia of DOH 6 said in a PIA interview that the halfway home will help the People Living with HIV, AIDS (PLHIV AIDS) stay in a place where they are re-adjusting, and reenter and live within its accepted norms.

"There is really a need for a place to be established for the PLHIV AIDS who come into the open to seek medication, consultation and advise to have a place where they can be more at ease," Director Valencia said.

With the public disclosure of some PLHIV AIDS, the government through the DOH and other agencies have extended support treatment and counseling services. While there is no cure for HIV/AIDS but for those who were afflicted with it and submitted themselves to the DOH, have access to ARV, a drug which suppresses the virus and stop the progression of HIV disease.

Director Valencia said that the halfway house is seen to benefit the PLWHAs while undergoing treatment and counseling.

Dr. Valencia said that when the place is "ready we will 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 place has an area where the PLWHAs could also do organic farming and other activities that can still be explored for the benefit of the PLWHAs," Valencia said.

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.

The DOH 6 Director also pointed out the other significance of this halfway house for PLHIV AIDS in 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.

"This place could provide them shelter while away from home for one night or until the day their transaction at the HACT is completed," Valencia said. (PIA6) [top]

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