CITY of BALANGA, Bataan – To prevent the rise of HIV/AIDS in the province, the Provincial Health Office conducted an orientation on the establishment of a Local AIDS Council (LAC) last friday, October 20, 2017, at Crown Royale Hotel.
The LAC is a multisectoral structure within a local government unit which ensures the active involvement of the LGU on HIV and AIDS. Its establishment at the LGU ensures a collaborative effort from the different stakeholders in crafting programs and interventions to prevent and control of the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The event was graced by Dr. Rosanna Buccahan (Provincial Health Officer), Mr. Joseph Michael Manlutac (Regional Program Coordinator), and Mr. Wayne Baniqued (Founder, Juan Positive Movement Association Inc.) who presented and discussed topics on the localization of HIV response, HIV epidemiology, program thrusts, basics of HIV, AIDS, and STIs, AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998, clarification of HIV misconceptions, sensitization on HIV concepts, and many more.
It was attended by BM Jose Villapando Sr., Samal Vice Mayor Aida Macalinao, PHO staff, representatives from Municipal Health Offices, Rural Health Units, Sangguniang Bayan on Health, HIV coordinators, local media, and other concerned sectors.
It was explained that HIV/AIDS has three categories: Category A (more than 50 cases), Category B (10-49 cases), and Category C (less than 10 cases) in which Bataan falls on Category B, and if not prevented and taken care of may lead to Category A. With this, the establishment of a LAC is very much needed to achieve an HIV-free generation and provide a better quality of life for all.
“Good news is that HIV/AIDS is highly preventable, better news is that we can do something about it, and the best news is that we can start now,” Mr. Manlutac concluded.