1st AIDS Congress held PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 May 2015 17:36

By SHEILA COVARRUBIAS

The youth sector representing different groups turned up for the first ever AIDS Congress in Zamboanga Thursday, May 14, intended to drum up awareness on the control and prevention of the disease now rapidly affecting young people.

Spearheaded by the City Health Office and the Zamboanga Multi-Sectoral AIDS Council (ZMSAC), the activity included, lectures, a testimony of a person with HIV and a youth forum dubbed as “Speak Out Zambo”. The activity culminated with the Candlelight memorial parade from the Cecille’s Pension to the Forest Lake Memorial Park in Tumaga.

City health Officer Rodel Agbulos cited statistics and significant data where he emphasized that the youth sector is the most affected population based on recent studies.

District II Congresswoman Lilia Nuño stressed on the need to step up advocacy on HIV-AIDS even as she enumerated legislative measures recently approved by the House of Representatives aimed at intensifying the campaign.

The youth sector came from different groups- out of school youth, high school and college students, volunteers and numerous others. Representatives from multi-sectoral groups also joined the Congress, the youth forum and eventually the candle light memorial which was also graced by Mayor Beng climaco.

The lectures centered on AIDS -  what it is, how it is transmitted and how serious is the problem on HIV-AIDS infection and the Regional trends and directions, which were competently presented by Dr. Jejunee Rivera,  medical sector representative in the ZMSAC and medical director of Zampen Hospital and Christian Olasiman, the mayor’s executive assistant and participant in the recently concluded Access, Uptake and Quality of Sexual and Reproductive Health Care for Adolescents: Summit on Key Insights and Transformative Solutions held in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Assistant city  Health Officer Dr. Kibtiya Uddin and former Health Undersecretary Dr. Mila Fernandez also shared insights regarding HIV-AIDS during the AIDS Congress. —Sheila Covarrubias