Yap urges Tarlac youth to do their share vs HIV, TB

 Governor Susan Yap urged the youth of Tarlac to do their share in preventing cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB) in the province. 

In her message during the fourth leg of Kilos Kabataan Kontra HIV at TB virtual forum, Yap highlighted the report of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS identifying the Philippines as the country with the fastest growing HIV epidemic in Asia and the Pacific.

“As we fight COVID-19, we also need to face various problems and issues of the society including TB and HIV. TB is a serious health threat and remains specifically for people living with HIV. Without necessary treatment, HIV and TB can work together to shorten an individual’s life span,” she stated. 

With this, Yap encouraged the youth to take part in equipping themselves with the right information to contribute in creating platforms and mechanisms that will address HIV and TB problems. 

She likewise urged local government units to step-up their efforts in providing the needed resources for the implementation of innovative prevention services appropriate for their localities. 

Yap furthered that government agencies, civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations must give preferential health attention to HIV. 

“More than that, there is a need for greater budget allocation to implement feasible health and medical programs to halt the increase in the number of cases, and to start reversing the trend of this epidemic,” she said. 

Yap cited poverty, undernutrition, lack of information and education, and lack of access to primary and quality health care as among the risk factors. 

“Stigma should be reduced through gender-sensitivity education that must be integrated and delivered in a culturally-sensitive manner. Also, massive information dissemination and promotion of sexual health, which sound very challenging in a country or place where HIV infection is equated to sin or immorality,” she noted. 

In conclusion, Yap enjoined all Tarlaqueños to join hands in making a real difference in combating HIV and TB. 

About 150 students of Tarlac State University and Tarlac Agricultural University participated in the fourth leg of Kilos Kabataan Kontra HIV at TB virtual forum co-organized by Philippine Information Agency and United States Agency for International Development TB Platforms (USAID’s TB Platforms) in partnership with Department of Health and the provincial government of Tarlac. 

Resource persons in the webinar include DOH Regional HIV Program Manager Joseph Michael Manlutac, USAID’s TB Platforms Operations and Area Manager for Central Luzon Rhodora Cruz, USAID’s TB Platforms Social and Behavior Change Communication Specialist Diwata Paredes, and Cavite Positive Action Group Executive Director Joseph Honra. (CLJD/TJBM-PIA 3)

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