John Mark Santiago, former student governor of the College of Education local council at Wesleyan University-Philippines, signs paperwork to have his blood tested at an HIV and AIDS education and prevention forum at the university in Cabanatuan City, Philippines, on Oct. 30. Photo by Jon Balagan
By Gladys P. MangiduyosNov. 26, 2019 | CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines (UM News)
United Methodist leaders and youth are among those collaborating on ways to stop the “ugly and alarming” rise in HIV cases in the Philippines.
HIV and AIDS is a national emergency in the country, said Wilfredo C. Ramos, a United Methodist and dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Medical Sciences at United Methodist-related Wesleyan University-Philippines.
“HIV cases in the Philippines have increased by 174% in the past eight years and (the number) is still growing,” Ramos said. “The numbers and are quite ugly and very alarming.”
Ramos was among the speakers at an Oct. 30 HIV and AIDS education and prevention forum held at the university.
More than 150 students, seminarians, clergy and members of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship went through counseling and blood screening at the event.
The forum was held a little more than a month before World AIDS Day. The global health day takes place Dec. 1 each year and is dedicated to fighting against HIV, supporting those living with the virus and commemorating those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.