In celebration of World AIDS Day, the National Youth Commission launched Project HAPPY wherein one of the speakers presented is battling with HIV.
Anthony Louie David, an HIV positive, shared his experiences as a person living with HIV.
“Kung ibu-blur niyo po yung mukha ko, ‘wag niyo na lang po akong interviewhin kasi useless. Kung mismo sarili ko nagsasalita at nagsasabi ‘may HIV ako’ pero yung stigma ay nasa sarili ko, wala rin pong sense,” he said.
With a lot of experience in being interviewed by multiple media outlets, David has never opted for anonymity to serve as an inspiration to those people living with HIV.
David, who also manages a YouTube channel (PLHIV Diaries), urged youth-led organizations to conduct similar events for the parents in order to break the stigma.
In an interview, he also stressed the importance of a ‘family day’, where parents and children could actively communicate.
“Minsan di nauunawaan ng mga magulang ang kanilang mga anak kasi walang alam ang parents sa nangyayari sa anak nila,” he said.
Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) Commissioner Norman Baloro, addressed what he called a “disheartening” misconception surrounding HIV/AIDS, stressing that regardless of gender orientation, everyone is at risk.
“[T]hough there is a figure that would suffice that most people living with HIV are coming from the LGBT community, however, this is not only focused on that particular sector because if you are engaged in high-risk behavior, the tendency is you will also become infected,” he said.
Inviting experts from the medical field to disseminate right information on human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), the NYC, in partnership with the Philippine Pediatric Society, conducted Project HAPPY (HIV/AIDS Awareness and Prevention Program for the Youth), a convention peopled by youth from various schools and sectors.
HIV is found in human blood, semen, vaginal and rectal fluids, and breast milk. It is primarily transmitted by unprotected sex, contaminated blood transfusions, organ transplant, and hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding.
Other bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV. Therefore, it cannot be transmitted through hugging, kissing, sharing utensils, and talking to people living with HIV (PLHIV).
The launching of Project HAPPY was done simultaneously in Pasay City.
Last week, SunStar reported that in the first half of 2019, Davao Region ranked fifth in the Philippines with the most number of HIV/AIDS cases with a total of 3,476.