PAMATI 2020, a Talk on HIV was conceptualized because of the desire to raise awareness for two causes– HIV/AIDS and Violence Against Women where participants were reminded that while there is an existing COVID-19 pandemic, we all have been battling the HIV/AIDS pandemic years prior and up until this point.
Violence against women and girls is a cause and consequence of HIV infection. It is one of the key drivers behind the increasing number of women and girls living with HIV and AIDS. Young women are especially at risk, as a result of sexual violence, trafficking for sexual exploitation, child marriage and other harmful practices.
The subordinate position that many women and girls hold within their families, communities and societies restricts their access to information about sexual and reproductive health and their use of health-care services. Fear of violence makes many reluctant to be tested or treated, and inhibits their capacity to negotiate safer sexual practices.
HIV/AIDS is preventable through 5 ways – (A) Abstinence, (B) Being Faithful, (C) Correct and Consistent Condom Use, (D) Do Not Do Illegal Drugs, (E) Education, Early Detection, and Early Treatment.
People are also reminded of the roles of healthcare professionals, as private individuals, and as Filipinos- to eradicate the stigma against HIV, to stand up for the rights of women, and to stand for equality.
The following speakers, Maritess “Rina” Cardines, Dr. Helen Madamba, and John Carlo Divina, shared valuable information and inspired the audience to take their part in raising awareness against HIV/AIDS and VAW.
The public must be educated to accept that the diagnosis of HIV is no longer a death sentence with proper medication, guidance and counseling. Persons living with HIV can look forward to having a long, productive lives, and may even have their families of their own.
The organizers of the activity, Accentuating Lives through Service and Advocacy – Cebu Doctors’ University (ALSA – CDU), ALSA – CDU Standing Committee on Reproductive Health including HIV and AIDS (ALSA – SCORA), the Mandaue City Government and Zonta Club of Cebu II thanked all the partners, stakeholders, and individuals who shared their time in making the activity a success.