Because of the sharp uptick of HIV and AIDS among the Filipino youth, the Department of Health (DOH) has come up with the solution of raising awareness through counseling and free condoms.
The "business unusual strategy" will also urge parents to get involved and teach their children about safe s*x at home.
"Because of our culture, we get embarrassed by topics like s*x (and) HIV/AIDS … but I believe (correct information) starts at home. Please make sure (your kids) are protected," advises National Youth Commission Chair Aiza Seguerra.
In a Press Conference during World AIDS Day 2016 held last Thursday, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial shared: "As soon as we thresh out the strategy with the Department of Education (DepEd), we can distribute (condoms) after providing them proper counseling."
"Of course, we also have to prepare the school authorities, teachers, principals, healthcare providers," she added.
Data shows the significant rise in numbers of HIV/AIDS cases-- the total number of HIV cases recorded since 1984 to October of 2016 is 38,114; 32,099 of which are from years 2011 to 2016. What is even more alarming is that 10,279 of these cases are of ages 15 to 24 year olds.
The Episcopal Commission on Health Care of the Catholic bishops conference head have also taken notice of the alarming situation and have called out to the youth to take part in educating everyone.
Executive Secretary of the commission Fr. Dan Cancino said, "The cases rose, especially for those aged 15 to 24 years old. They are [our] future, our high school and college students."
Furthermore, in line with raising awareness, the secretary also invited the youth to take part in the National Catholic AIDS Sunday on December 4 which will be held at the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in Mandaluyong's SM Megamall in their hopes of raising public awareness.
"This is a day for us to increase our knowledge and awareness, especially the youth, on the global problem of HIV/AIDS."
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