Philippine Red Cross Joins World AIDS Day 2016 | 1 December 2016 | Philippines

According to UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS) fact sheet of 2016, globally, roughly 78 million people have become infected with HIV since the start of the epidemic. While approximately 39.8 Million people were living with HIV, and only 17 million of them were accessing antiretroviral therapy. Moreover, about 40.8 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the epidemic.

In the Philippines, as of October 2016, a total of 38,114 cases were recorded since the first case of HIV was diagnosed in January 1984. Of the total cases, 84% were reported from January 2011 to October 2016.

Based on the epidemic trends of National HIV/AIDS & STI Surveillance and Strategic Information Unit, Epidemiology Bureau of the Department of Health (DOH), 26 individuals are estimated to be newly diagnosed with HIV per day.

People Living with HIV do not transmit the virus by handshakes, casual talks, staying in the same room and/or even sharing of utensils while eating. People Living with HIV (PLHIV) are facing bigger issues other than the disease they have acquired but the discrimination and stigma they are encountering.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) continues to uphold one of its missions as an advocate to halt the spread of HIV and AIDS by raising public awareness. And this resulted in a great number of individuals having already been educated about HIV and AIDS, as well as the process of how to get tested.

Moreover, The PRC fully supports the anti-stigma campaign and conducts programs and activities for its implementation around the organization’s programs and services. As part of moving forward, the PRC foresees that aside from HIV/AIDS knowledge-dissemination campaign, the anti-discrimination and anti-stigma should also be given emphasis. This campaign will protect the rights and privileges of all PLHIVs.

The Movement already has initiated several activities that promote the Zero Discrimination Campaign on HIV/AIDS. Also, the PRC adopts the “Workplace Policy” in accordance with the National and International Law and Conferences that creates a chance for the PLHIV to work and live as usual in PRC environment.

In celebration of World AIDS Day, the PRC initiates activities that aims to amplify national awareness and issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. A total of 171 participated during the HIV/AIDS symposium held at 2nd Floor of PRC tower. The symposium started with giving trivia about HIV/AIDS and World AIDS Day. It was then followed by the launching of “Workplace Policy” on HIV/AIDS and an audio-visual campaign-presentation was also shown. The resource speaker discussed the topics of HIV/AIDS within the community and PLHIVs’ chances and challenges. A message from PRC Chairman Richard Gordon ended the symposium.


Starting end of November, PRC Chapters nationwide participated in the countdown for 15,000 Hands Up for #HIVprevention. The mechanism of the campaign was on their palms where they wrote their advocacy messages to show support to PLHIVs and to commemorate the people who have died because of HIV and AIDS. They rose their hands up and had their photographs taken, then posted them on their different social media accounts. Also, the Chapters conducted different initiatives in celebration of World AIDS Day such as candle lighting, human ribbon formation, information dissemination on HIV/AIDS, parade/walk, run for a cause, masquerade party, participation in different local HIV/AIDS sector activities.

In this endeavour of the PRC, this battle is not only against the spread of HIV/AIDS, but as well as the issues surrounding it and community involvement is the best method to win it. The PRC will continuously mobilize the Red Cross’ 143 volunteers to visit communities and disseminate information about HIV/AIDS, promote preventive measures, as well as distribute condoms to promote safe sex. Also, PRC will integrate counselling sessions for pre- and post-HIV/AIDS testing on its program. This mission will not only require putting our hands up for HIV prevention but standing up for what the humanity needs.

 


Featured Video

A video made for the occasion of World AIDS Day 2016 highlighting being against discrimination of HIV-infected people in workplaces.

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World AIDS Day by Thai Red Cross Society | 1 December 2016 | Thailand

For World AIDS Day 2016, Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre (TRCARC) brought World AIDS Day to life in the communities by organizing special events to raise awareness of the role that individuals and communities could play in preventing the spread of HIV. The events promoted Free HIV testing and encourage individuals and their partners to know their HIV status at Anonymous Clinic and in the prison in Pathumthani province, and screening and discussion of VD, TB and Hepatitis B & C. Also occurred was activities to disseminate HIV/AIDS information to the public following the UN’s theme for this year’s World AIDS Day which is Hands Up for #HIV Prevention.

Activities
1. Communication through the social media outlets about HIV prevention, testing and treatment
– Online HIV risk reduction message to communicate accurate information about HIV, HIV risk, and ways to prevent both acquisition and transmission
= Promotion of free HIV Testing on World AIDS Day

2. On 1 December 2016, TRCARC joined the official World AIDS Day Celebration at Anonymous Clinic.
– Booth exhibition
– Free HIV testing was offered on World AIDS Day on 1 December
– Black ribbons were distributed

3. Students Debate & Debunk HIV Myths at Tessaban 2 Wat Saneha School in Nakhon Pathom province. This province, located approximately 70 kilometers away to the South of Thailand from Bangkok was chosen for several reasons; the first being that it is one of the zones where TRCARC presently work for Harm Reduction, and the second being that TRCARC wanted to bring our message of HIV/AIDS education to an area with low socio-economic.

 

 

 

4. Prisoners Debate & Debunk HIV Myths at the prison in Prathumthani Province. This province, located approximately 60 kilometers to the North of Thailand from Bangkok was chosen for several reasons; the first being that it is one of the zones where TRCARC presently works for Harm Reduction, and the second being that TRCARC wanted to bring our message of HIV/AIDS education to an area where there is drug use. There were a debate, an exhibition and a quiz session.

 

 

 

Outcomes
• Using of the social networking sites to bridge communication among a diverse range of users, in various geographic and social contexts, leveraged through pre-existing platforms and with attention to the roles of anonymity and confidentiality in communication about HIV prevention and treatment, continues to increase and becomes more widespread.
• 172 people got free HIV testing on World AIDS Day.
• The event was well attended. A total of 1,714 students in the school came including upper secondary school students, teachers, villagers authorities, district government staff and TRCARC staff.
• 100 students and 100 prisoners were able to identify and discuss basic truths and myths surrounding HIV. They highlighted the importance of education as a preventive measure against HIV/AIDS.
• Distributed condoms and lubricant, printed with “PrEP helps prevent HIV” message with the key facts about HIV/AIDS on the back, which promoted practical link between HIV/AIDS and safe sex.
• Students campaigned for World AIDS Day in public by wearing the campaign t-shirts especially produced for the occasion.
• The audience actively engaged with the debate showing laughter and applause. It was expected that this activity helped to increase HIV/AIDS knowledge. It is hoped that people change their attitude and behavior towards people living with HIV (PLHIV) as the drama performance showed people how to support PLHIV.
• Participants in the quiz session demonstrated good knowledge of the HIV/AIDS information presented.
• The materials distributed to the audience and displayed in the exhibition were well received. We hope that the provision of this information helps to provide ongoing support to increase knowledge and change individuals and communities behaviors and attitudes.

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Cambodian Red Cross celebrates World AIDS Day 2016

The Cambodian Red Cross always celebrates the World AIDS Day event every year to support the effort of the government and the profound HIV and AIDS activity of its president as the National Champion of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Forum in response to HIV and AIDS in Cambodia. For 2016 World AIDS Day, the CRC celebrated the event with the theme, “Early Test and Early Treat toward stopping AIDS by 2025”.

According to the above-mentioned theme, CRC organized 2016 World AIDS day event in several activities which included:
a. Key message from the CRC’s President for nationally dissemination.
b. 25 Red Cross Branches were encouraged to conduct home visits to PLHIV families by Red Cross Youth and Volunteers.
c. Youth debate at the National TV studio and aired through the National TV before and on 1 December 2016.
d. The health team from the NHQ visited 3 Red Cross branches (Siem Reap, Svay Rieng and Koh Kong provinces) and joined the branches’ activities.
e. The CRC’s NHQ health team conducted HIV/AIDS awareness sessions to several universities in Phnom Penh and Svay Rieng.

Key Activities
1. Key message from CRC’s President
The contents of the CRC’s President message to the public can be summarized as follow:
– Try to understand about the fact of HIV and AIDS and to prevent yourself from HIV infection, in particular all youth and you have to remember that “preventing HIV starts from you”.
– For those who are suspecting of infecting HIV and those who are living with HIV, you have to hurry to have blood test and accept treatment and health services from health centers and hospital. You have to commit not passing HIV to others.
– For pregnant women, you have to hurry to and to regularly have your pregnancy check-up so that you can take ARV preventing spreading HIV to your baby.
– Do not discriminate and look down on the people who are living with HIV. We have to create a supporting environment for risk groups so that they can get health services, social support lawful protection.
– “I would like to appeal for all, in particular youth, that we have to commit ourselves to contribute to HIV prevention and all the times we have to avoid any actions which lead us to be risky to HIV. Everywhere you are, you have to educate your friends to know how to prevent HIV like you do.”

2. Youth debate
For the youth debate, the Cambodian Red Cross held it at the National TV Studio in Phnom Penh on 22 November 2016 and then aired the video spot via all local TV channels from the 25 November to 1 December 2016. This youth debate was held under the specific topic, “Cambodian Youth commit to prevent HIV.” The contents of the youth debate include: Contributing to the achievement of the 90-90-90 by 2020, highlight the youth role model in preventing HIV and AIDS, with the focus on self-esteem and social value, and the joint effort in fighting against HIV and AIDS in Cambodia so far. There were 200 people who attended this youth debate, including 40 Red Cross Volunteers and CRC’s staff. Student representatives from two universities debated on the key questions posted by the speaker panel. The speaker panel includes PLHIV representative, National AIDS Authority, Red Cross people and the media.

3. Home visit to PLHIV families orphanage center

– Totally 435 food packages, including 60 packages supported by the Federation via ART Network, were distributed to PLHIV’s families at their homes within the three provinces of Hoh Kong, Svay Rieng and Siem Reap during November to December 2016.
– Four staff of the CD/NCD sub-department of the National Head Quarters directly went to the three mentioned Red Cross Branches above.

4. CRC’s NHQ health team conducted HIV/AIDS awareness sessions to several universities in Phnom Penh and Svay Rieng
At least six universities, with a total of 4,842 students, were reached during November to December 2016. The six universities include 5 universities in Phnom Penh namely Royal University of Phnom Penh, Asia-Europe University, Royal University of Agriculture, University of Cambodia and Western University and the other university in Svay Rieng which was University of Svay Rieng. Over 60% of the students were females. Deans of each university, and teachers and students were very active and supporting the HIV sessions, plus thanking the Red Cross for such HIV messages dissemination.

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