BUTUAN CITY – Employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Caraga field office converged at the office’s conference hall recently to attend the orientation on HIV/ AIDS. The activity is in line with implementation of care and support services of DSWD, which have been pilot tested in NCR and Region 3 and now targets to expand its implementation in all regions. These services are the Department’s contribution to the government’s effort in providing strategic response to combat HIV/AIDS and prevent its spread throughout the country. Regional Director Mercedita Jabagat says with this development the field office sees the need to educate the employees on HIV/AIDS. They have to be provided with knowledge on this matter because lack of knowledge or misinformation sometimes contributes to the stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV or PLHIV and their families.
Jabagat said DSWD employees are oriented on HIV/AIDS for them to become advocates in influencing the behaviors of people who are at risk of acquiring HIV and AIDS and help in making the community understand the HIV and AIDs phenomenon.
Lectures include topics on global and national perspective of HIV/AIDS; national and local response mechanisms to HIV and AIDS in the Philippines; understanding HIV and AIDS; and sex, sexuality and gender. Resource persons from the health department, Ms. Sharon Coja, HIV/AIDS Coordinator and Ms. Lourdes Plaza, Family Planning Coordinator and Ms. Glezza Ty and Ms. Hazel Nambatac of DSWD Caraga, explained to the participants the definition of HIV/AIDS, how to recognize HIV and AIDS, the various modes of transmission of HIV, possible preventive measures of HIV/ AIDS and how to distinguish the legal and ethical aspects of AIDS. # # # (Social Marketing Unit, February 11, 2009)