by Jennie Eliza Baysantos
The Los Baños Municipal Health Office, through one of its medical officers Dr. Maria Carlin Lawas-Fabian, on December 1 culminated their series of seminars and lectures on HIV/ AIDS awareness at Laguna State Polytechnic University – Los Baños Campus (LSPU).
According to Dr. Lawas-Fabian, she started spearheading the program in 2017 due to the study gathered in 2015 in Region 4A about adolescents aging 17 below having low knowledge about HIV.
“Familiar [ang adolescents] pero yung comprehensive knowledge tungkol sa HIV ay mababa. Kaya nagsagawa kami sa schools at sa community ng lectures,” said Dr. Lawas-Fabian.
Since 2017, the Los Baños Municipal Health Office has been conducting Teen Clinic where they train at least 12 students from different public high schools in Los Baños to disseminate or do lectures about HIV awareness, teenage pregnancy, smoking, and drug abuse. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was discontinued. It was only reinstated in October this year.
Moreover, aside from the last lecture about the HIV/ AIDS Awareness program and also in celebration of World AIDS Day, the Municipal Health Office conducted free counseling and testing on students on site in LSPU.
Julia Suzanne Manipol, attendee and LSPU Supreme Student Council Secretary, said the seminar was informative and it helped to gradually decrease the stigma on how HIV/AIDS is being passed on.
“So yung mga common na naiisip natin, kunwari kapag uupo ka sa toilet nata-transmit (ang HIV/AIDS) kahit hindi talaga o kaya kapag nakipag-halikan ka. Hindi talaga siya doon nata-transmit. So doon pa lang, nawawala na agad yung stigma,” said Manipol.
On the other hand, when Dr. Lawas-Fabian was asked on their future programs, “Sa ngayon, last na tong World AIDS Day kaninang umaga. Sa mga barangay, yung Tuesday yung last. Baka yung next sa January na ulit.”