Dec 1, 2015
As it is every year, today, December 1, is World AIDS Day #WAD2015 and this event feels especially relevant for the Philippines today. The day serves many purposes such as reminding the world that we still haven't found a cure to HIV and that millions of people are living with the virus and need a lot of support to continue to move forward. It's also a time to remember those we have lost to HIV and AIDS and to use their lives as inspiration to push even harder.
In the Phlippines, there are two main parts of thus struggle that are important to remember.
On the one hand, infection rates continue to rise in this country at an alarming rate whereas most other countries seem to have a better grasp on the problem. On average, a Filipino is diagnosed with HIV every hour and this rate of infection only seems to rise. The government still has not undertaken widespread problems to truly deal with this problem given the religious objections raised for prevention methods like condom use.
And then there's the question of how to support those who are living with HIV already. There is a law that generally tries to protect their rights and ensure some legal protections but not all provisions of the law have been clearly defined or put into effect. There's far too much stigma associated with HIV that makes dealing with the condition a moral problem instead of a medical one. People don't need to be condemned for having HIV - they need our support in order to help them have lives that are as normal as possible.
Get tested. Practice safe sex. Treat everyone fairly, regardless of whether or not they have tested reactive. The would could do a heck of a lot better with a little more love in it.