Mabalacat City -- With a theme “Together Let’s Spike, Dig and Block HIV-AIDS,” the City Health Office through the Reproductive Health and Wellness Center set an invitational volleyball play-off to raise awareness on the increasing number of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
The formal opening of the tournament was led by City Health Officer Dr. Ma. Clara Aquino on Tuesday at Jade Hall, Xevera Lot Only, Barangay Tabun.
Joining her were Dr. Freddie Anunciacion, Dr. Mary Ann Tolentino, Dr. Rosemarie Ann Manalo Liong and CHO, RHU, RHWC personnel.
According to RHWC Nurse Coordinator Jennalyn Ruiz, there are 10 participating teams composed of 12 individuals from various sectors here.
The champion will receive P 6,000 cash prize and a trophy.
On the same event, Department of Health Region III representative Cecile Buan and city government employees joined the nation in lighting ‘candles of hope’ in commemoration of the people who are suffering and who have died of the dreaded disease.
As of RHWC data from January 1984 to March 2017, Mabalacat City ranked third in Pampanga with a total of 143 reported cases of AIDS, mostly from men who have sex with men (MSM).
“Kapag ang isa pong tao ay nagtest ng positive hindi po ibig sabihin nun ay end of the world na. There is life after HIV,” volunteer, life coach and Juan Positive Movement Founder and President Wayne Bradley emphasized.
With this, Aquino is encouraging everyone, especially sexually active individuals, to undergo free of charge and confidential HIV testing to the nearest RHU in your barangay.
“We thank everyone who participated in the event. Together let’s fight and eradicate HIV,” HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator Marjo Morales added.
To avail of free HIV counseling and testing, contact the RHWC personnel at 0926-072-6896/ 0999-106-7475.