In line with World AIDS Day 2022 commemoration, the Batangas City Health Office conducted a seminar on Senior High School student-leaders that aims to raise awareness on youth about the sexually-transmitted diseases, mainly Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection (HIV) at Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) last December 7.

 Aligned to the theme of this year’s event, “End HIV, Act for Equality para sa Healthy Pilipinas”, officers of the City Health Office (CHO) shared their respective knowledges regarding the said sexually-transmitted diseases.

 The lecture kicked off with a pretest about HIV and AIDS to assess the students’ preliminary knowledge about HIV and AIDS. After this, the questions were elaborated and the seminar addressed the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS, and the speakers’ cited misconceptions about the said illnesses. Furthermore, the history of HIV , how the cases of HIV and AIDS are increasing as well as how to protect themselves from AIDS and HIV-related infections were tackled accordingly.

Different activities were done in order to engage the leaders in the talk. Being grouped randomly, they were tasked to do activities such as arrange the proper order of using a condom and how to put it in a prosthetic toy. In this part, proper prevention and treatment in case someone contracts the disease was discussed.

The speakers highlighted the importance of knowledge in these times and they emphasized that this talk is not to encourage to do these things right away but instead this is done to open the minds of the members of the youth.

 “It saddens me and at the same time, the increasing cases of HIV worry me. On the other hand, the seminar somewhat relieved me, because it reassured me that our government is not ignoring such threats at all in solving this issue. Nonetheless, they should put some more strategies and effort into really making such seminars helpful to the masses. Also, I would like to applaud our institution, SBC for being open to these kind of talks. It really just shows how willing the school is to be a more progressive learning environment without putting any malice in these kinds of topics since it is just right for our age group.” Kristel Luiza Dinglasan, President of Humanities and Social Science (HUMSS) Club expressed.

Steve Dirk Dinglasan