MANILA Mayor Isko Moreno has directed the Manila Health Department (MHD) to intensify its drive against HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and to conduct HIV testing in all barangays citywide and to complement this with a stepped up campaign against teenage pregnancies.
Moreno gave the orders to MHD chief Dr. Arnold ‘Poks’ Pangan, after the latter reported that Manila is second to the highest in the incidence of HIV, with Quezon City having the highest incidence in HIV infection.
Pangan further reported that the age group with the highest incidence is 15 to 24 years of age, teenagers to young adults and that in Manila alone, almost everyday, there is at least one individual who tests positive for HIV infection.
According to Pangan, the MHD will implement Moreno’s orders for a citywide effort covering all the 896 barangays, to create awareness and conduct testing for HIV.
‘We will go down to the barangays to conduct training, education and testing on HIV, for those who want to be tested and the program called “School-based Fertility Awareness and Sexually Transmitted Infecion Awareness” will again be implemented this year in all public schools hoping to bring down the incidence of HIV and also lower teenage pregnancies.
In the Philippines, there are 35 to 40 new cases everyday of HIV infection in the whole Philippines and Pangan said the figures includes some of the students in the city’s public high schools.
Meanwhile, it was learned that the MHD has taught the MAPEH (Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health) teachers about the reproductive health and contraceptive use so that the teachers, in turn, could teach the students in school, since they do not have any control on what actions the students will do regarding sex.
This way, Pangan said, the information given to the MAPEH teachers to be taught the students would help in trying to avoid teenage pregnancy as well as avoid contracting the deadly HIV.
‘The mayor and us at the MHD want the students to finish high school without getting pregnant or sick, so that they could be given a chance to have a better future and opportunities in life if they are able to finish their studies and get a college degree, Pangan said.’