ANGELES CITY - The local government led by Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan has expressed support to Department of Health (DoH) information drive on sexuality and reproductive health during the flag raising ceremony held Monday at the City Hall grounds.
Dubbed as “Isip-isip before you Unzip”, the theme aims to bring awareness on adolescent sexuality and reproductive well-being.
“Our top priority is the health and wellness of our people in Angeles City. Today, it is more relevant to place our efforts in educating our young generations and extend our help to those who are presently suffering from illnesses caused by neglect,” Pamintuan expressed.
Dra. Verona Guevarra, Program Head of the Reproductive Health and Wellness Center (RHWC), said that “the local government is making efforts for its constituents” reiterating the availability of all the city programs especially projects aimed at fighting and treating people inflicted with HIV.
“HIV has been affecting many lives and we aim to treat and even put a stop to it from spreading through our various health programs, information drive and educational campaign,” Verona said.
Based on the latest data published by the DoH, the regions with the highest number of reported HIV cases were the National Capital Region (NCR) with 284 (39%) cases, Region 4A with 94 (13%) cases, Region 3 with 82 (11%) cases, Region 7 with 71 (10%) cases, and Region 11 with 65 (9%) cases.
Unprotected sexual contact remains to be the primary mode of HIV transmission with 709 cases. Needle sharing among injecting drug users (IDU) with 26 cases, and mother-to child transmission with one case.
Eighty-six percent of those transmitted through sexual contact were among males who have sex with males (MSMa).
On the other hand, the RHWC located in Barangay Balibago and six other rural health units in the city offer HIV testing, syphilis testing, hepatitis screening, and treatment for the sexually transmissible infection (STI) for free.
The city government, in partnership with the Commission on Population- Region 3 (PopCom-R3), also runs a Teen Information Center (TIC) located at the second level of the Angeles City Library and Information Center for peer-to-peer consultations.
The city’s RHWC is currently treating 96 HIV-positive patients.
The local government has made a partnership with Ospital ning Angeles (ONA) and Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital (JBL) for the treatment of people living with HIV where free anti-retroviral treatments are being provided.
With the successful implementation of these programs, Guevarra furthered that the city government is a consistent recipient of the Pulang Laso Award for Best Local Government Unit Response to HIV from 2015 to 2017 conferred by the Department of Health (DoH).
Also in 2014, the city government received the Rafael M. Salas Population and Development Award from PopCom-R3 for its outstanding population and development-related achievements in Population and Development (POPDEV), Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RP-FP), as well as Adolescent Health and Youth Development (AHYD).