More Filipinos to be engaged in HIV-AIDS awareness drive PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 November 2018 14:59

By Dominic I. Sanchez

The right information on HIV-AIDS will curb the spread of this disease. But putting information out there isn’t enough, a senior government official believes. There has to be constant engagement with target audiences to really get the message across – that HIV-AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus - Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) can be easily prevented.

It is for this reason that Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Harold Clavite is making  information campaign on HIV-AIDS one of the agency’s main communication priorities.

Clavite is alarmed over the number of HIV-AIDS cases all over the country  where  more and more youth and other age groups are being affected.

Earlier this year, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 11,103 new cases in 2017, or  19.85 percent increase from the previous year.

“We need to reach the schools and the barangays with our partner government agencies,” Clavite explains. “We have to feed the people with correct information (to prevent the spread of HIV-AIDS),” especially on safe sex and the basic preventive measures.

One particular issue is that HIV-AIDS is more common among the M2Ms (males having sex with males), DOH data suggests. However, this does not exempt heterosexual relationships.

Another  concern is  the rising incidence  of teen pregnancy.

Clavite believes  that these issues can be averted with the right information, with PIA taking an active role and with the support of appropriate government agencies such as the DOH, Commission on Population (POPCOM) and the local government units.

Also included in the official’s communication priorities are the rights and welfare of women, gender and development, climate change adaptation and mitigation, alternative learning system, anti-violence against women and children, peace and order, countering violent extremism, Ambisyon Natin 2040, and responsible use of social media and sharing of information.

The PIA will  help address these issues with appropriate communication strategies without bias to local issues in the region that are just as urgent. (ALT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)