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HIV info campaign intensified

Esther Micah Gillesania & Francis Ryan Pabiana, News Writers

Fifteen colleges, along with Senior High School, are taught on how to protect themselves from Sexually Transmitted
Disease (STDs) like Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in an ongoing guidance forum by Silliman University Guidance and Testing Division-Office of Student Services (GTD-OSS).

Resource speaker Dr. Lourdes Estolloso-Ursos, chair of the Preventive and Community Medicine department of Silliman University Medical Center, said that the cases of HIV continue to increase every year. She said they started to have HIV positive patients at least once a month from the age of 15 to 49.

She said there at least 86 to 100 HIV cases per day in the country since 2015. On the forum with College of Mass Communication and College of Nursing last July 10, Ursos said around two to three students visit them every month because of painful discharges, and three are currently under medication.

Ursos emphasized the equal importance of treating people with HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB), which is being tested before the enrollment.

She said that she thinks it should also be mandatory to have HIV/AIDS test upon enrollment.

“If you’re really at risk, you need to have a check up for you to be given advice or diagnosis as early as now.”
She assured that patients with STDs are treated with confidentiality in accordance with R.A.8504 or Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998.

The forum is entitled “Protect Yourself (PF): a guidance forum on protecting yourself from sexually transmitted disease”. It will run for seven Mondays starting last July 10 until Sep. 11.

The guidance forum is a collaboration between the SU Medical Center and the GTD-OSS. Along with the Personality Enchancement Program (PEP) for freshmen, the forum aims to address the needs of all the students.

The forum last July was participated by the College of Mass Communication, College of Nursing, Institute of Clinical
Laboratory and Sciences, College of Engineering and Design, and College of Computer Studies.

On Aug. 14 is Institute of Rehabilitative Sciences, Divinity School, and College of Education.

Senior High School will have the forum on September 4, and College of Business Administration, School of Public Affairs and Governance on Sep. 11.

Dr. Juravic Rafols, head of GTD-OSS, said guidance counselors offices are open for counseling to assist students and may be reached through their contact numbers or the Silliman Hotline 0917 707 1901 [emergency contact].

Last year’s forum issue was on Drug Awareness – Acquiring and Building Capabilities for Drug Abuse Prevention and
Education, in collaboration with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

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