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Candlelighting memorial for people with HIV set on Friday  

The City Health Office (CHO) will lead the 36th commemoration of the International Candlelight Memorial that aims to foster support for people living with HIV/AIDS set next Friday at Rizal Park.

This year’s theme is Intensifying the Fight for Heath and Rights. The activitiy will kick off at 5 p.m. on May 17, 2019 through a prayer to remember the surviving families.

The highlight of the event is to give updates on HIV emphasizing the newly signed Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018 last December. With the new law, persons aged 15 to 17 years old are allowed to undergo HIV testing without a consent of a parent or guardian.

As of February 2019, the CHO already recorded a total of 2,704 HIV cases in Davao City and 126 reported deaths.

“For Davao City, we are having about 15 to 30 cases a month. For the month of January we have a total of 24 cases and 15 for February,” Reproductive Health and Wellness Center (RHWC) chief, Dr. Jordana Ramiterre, said during the iSpeak press forum.

Ramiterre said they have been training a lot of health providers in the district level to conduct a series of prevention education. However, they are now more focused on HIV treatment “because of the awareness, promotion of testing and people’s knowledge that there is a service, people are now accessing more to our primary treatment hub”.

“Although we go out to work places, to barangays, to communities to conduct prevention education but it’s not as regular and sustained as before,” she said. “So we are really hoping that our prevention education will become more active in schools.”

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