Youth exec says rising HIV-AIDS cases among PH youth a nat’l emergency
TACLOBAN CITY –– National Youth Commissioner (NYC) Victor del Rosario has expressed alarm over the rising number of young people infected with HIV-AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immune deficiency syndrome).
In an interview on Thursday, December 5, Del Rosario said the youth has become the “face of this epidemic.”
“Of the 35 new cases daily, nearly 80 percent are from the younger age group of 15 to 34,” he said.
“It’s very alarming and this could be considered a national emergency. This threatens the health as well as the well-being of our youth,” he added.
The NYC earlier launched a program dubbed “Project Happy,” which stands for HIV-AIDS Awareness and Prevention Program for the Youth.
The program aims to inform the youth about HIV-AIDS through school caravans.
Monitoring of the Department of Health in Eastern Visayas (DOH-8) shows that all of the 114 HIV-AIDS cases from January to July this year belong to the 15 to 34 age bracket.
Of the number, six have died, said John Paul Roca, DOH-8 information officer.
He declined to identify the victims.
Since the DOH started monitoring the HIV-AIDS cases in the country in 1984, Eastern Visayas, composed of Leyte, Biliran, Southern Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar provinces, has over 900 cases with 111 deaths.
Del Rosario said the Project Happy campaign has brought them to several campuses in Cebu and Leyte, particularly in Tacloban City, which has more than 50 cases of HIV-AIDS.
“We seek to create greater awareness on HIV-AIDS especially among the youth and for them to be HIV-AIDS advocates and warriors themselves,” said Del Rosario, referring to the main purpose of Project Happy.
“They need first to be fully informed about the issue and so develop their passion on this cause. The government especially, the local government units must provide them the platform to participate in this campaign,” the NYC commissioner added.
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