Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Philippines World AIDS Day 2008

By: Mark Alvin L. Abrigo, RN
Source: World AIDS Campaign

Statement of Solidarity against HIV/AIDS
Over a span of a decade, our country still maintains its record within a level categorized as a low prevalent country in terms of HIV and AIDS. The present prevalence rate of our country remains a record low. On the other hand, the Philippines should remain to be vigilant and carefully watch the looming effects of this global concern. As reflected by the present character of the Filipino population, our society is relatively influenced and challenged by cultural diversities, economic hardships, hasty migration, and sexual identity issues. High-risk groups of the population become emerging priority concerns such as migrant workers, seafarers, female sex workers, men who have sex with men, youth population and a plenty of drug users.

Today, we are sounding off a strong voice that Red Cross is a part of an alliance and a campaign against HIV/AIDS. We are taking part in this campaign as an advocate in helping the affected population beset by the effects of HIV/AIDS and an active key player in the area of prevention and risk reduction. As one of its priority health issues, PNRC shall, as ONE organization, involve its services, in particular but not limited to, the Community Health and Nursing Services, Red Cross Youth, Social Services, and Blood Services towards a more strategic and effective HIV/AIDS Programme. We shall renew relationships with government and non-government organizations to make our programs more responsive to the needs and gaps.

We call on those people affected with HIV and AIDS to remain steadfast. The Filipino nation along with PNRC recognizes the need to respond to their special needs. Your role in society is not rendered meaningless. It gives you a noble opportunity to carry out a challenge to send everybody a warning. A stern reminder that irresponsible action can make other people infected.

We call on everyone to remain vigilant towards preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS. A constant public health threat continues to plague our society thus PNRC should blow its horn as a beacon of humanity to take the lead in combating the spread of HIV and AIDS.

We call for an understanding of people affected with HIV/AIDS. Communities should realize its common responsibility of respecting everyone’s right. A person living with HIV and AIDS deserves a place in the society and should be given opportunities to live with human dignity.

As an organization with its roots in the community, we are conveying our statement of commitment to take responsibility in fighting and curbing the disease and in helping people especially those affected by HIV and AIDS. To ensure that this call shall be put into action, we shall engage in partnerships with those who can teach us how we can serve better in line with achieving our major health goals thus contribute to the goals of the entire Health Sector. This action is part of the PNRC’s continued commitment to alleviating human suffering at all levels and in vulnerable situations.

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