Stop the stigma: Freshies attend annual HIV, AIDS symposium

“Kissing doesn’t spread HIV. Ignorance does.”

These words were imparted among freshmen students of Medical Colleges of Northern Philippines (MCNP) and International School of Asia and the Pacific (ISAP) as they attended the annual Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) symposium conducted by the Health Services Office and Adolescent Reproductive Health – Peer Helping Group last December 10, 2021 via Zoom.

Mr. Christian R. Guzman, MBA, OIC – President and Ms. Winnie T. Cancejo, RRT, MPH, OIC – Vice President of Academic Affairs graced the activity through their opening and closing remarks respectively.

Meanwhile, Ms. Rosario E. Ramirez, RN, MSN, shared her knowledge and expertise about HIV and AIDS as the resource speaker. Her experience with AIDS patients while working in Ethiopia helped her give valuable inputs to better understand these virus and disease.

This annual event aims to increase the level of awareness on HIV epidemiology, risk factors, transmission, natural history and clinical manifestations of it. It also targets to provide better understanding on disease prevention and management to eradicate ignorance to myths and misconceptions about it.

Statistics states that there are 32 Filipinos tested positive for HIV/AIDS daily. Unless steps are taken, the number of Filipinos living with it will exceed a quarter of a million by 2030, says the Philippine National AIDS Council.

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