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Parañaque City Mayor Florencio Bernabe, Jr. (second from left) is awarded a water-themed painting by Artist Ivan Acuña; the MWSI Special Partnership Award; and a plaque of recognition from Maynilad officials (from left) President and CEO Victorico P. Vargas, Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chief Operations Officer Herbert M. Consunji and Chief Finance Officer Randolph T. Estrellado during the 5th Anniversary Celebrations of the Maynilad Water Services Inc. which was held recently at the SM Mall of Asia. The Special Partnership Award was given in recognition of the contribution of the Parañaque City Government and Mayor Jun Bernabe for the continued expansion of MWSI water services in the city. (Photo By: Jun Budlat)
National Capital Region

PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 03, 2012

NYC backs anti-HIV/AIDS program

by Domingo B. Natividad V

QUEZON CITY, Jan. 3 (PIA) -- National Youth Commission (NYC) chair Leon Flores has expressed support for the anti-Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) program, saying, the commission is “helping out in the advocacy concerns (of the program)” now that the Health department is re-directing its campaign to the youth bracket.

Flores told PIA-NCR in an interview, that the commission is still on a state where they are “wrapping around their heads on the issue” and help address this social problem.

Health Secretary, earlier said that his department may not be targeting the right population as regards the anti-HIV/ AIDS campaign, with the rise in the number of HIV infection coming from the young age group, particularly those young men copulating with men.

Flores said the NYC is currently supporting the advocacy that everyone – including the youth – should take the HIV/AIDS test; take precautionary measures, if they cannot avoid having sex – or not have sex at all; and remain faithful with your partner.

Aside from this, the NYC, as recommendatory body, is eyeing the amendment of the AIDS Act. Flores said, “This is still in the committee level of the NYC”.

Also, this year the NYC have strengthened its partnership with different groups including the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) that funds programs related to health. “Part of these (programs with UNFPA) is the anti-AIDS campaign.

Meanwhile, Flores pointed out that while Secretary Enrique Ona is pushing that parents with male homosexual children be tested for HIV/ AIDS, the commission remains to be “very careful about the kind of intervention that we give, such that we don’t put a stigma to a certain community.”

He explained that if this should be pursued “parang nag ge-generalize na tayo… at maba-brand ang mga bakla na may AIDS sila (we might be giving a general description… that will brand male homosexuals as having AIDS).”

Also, Flores said it may cause some concerns with heterosexuals being complacent in protecting themselves if HIV/ AIDS be tagged with gays only. “Everyone’s vulnerable (to this disease). Anyone can be infected,” he said. (RJB/ DBNV/ PIA-NCR)

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