The General Mariano Alvarez Church of the Nazarene in the Philippines hosted an HIV/AIDS Awareness Seminar 21 July. The seminar was organized with the help of Krizelle Anne Umali, Philippines Department of Health senior HIV surveillance officer and local HIV awareness advocate.
Over the past six years, the Philippines has been in an HIV epidemic, becoming the country with the fastest-growing HIV cases in Asia. HIV/AIDS cases in the country are still on the rise, and according to the Filipino Department of Health, there have been 38 new daily infections in the past year.
The goal of the seminar was to bring awareness and understanding about the epidemic to the community and to end the stigma surrounding the illness. Umali shared her expertise on HIV/AIDS, clarifying the difference between the two and teaching the participants about HIV and AIDS prevention.
According to Umali, there is no better protection than proper knowledge, and that knowledge may save a friend’s or loved one’s life.
“The HIV/AIDS Awareness Seminar was a huge success,” said Dash Gualberto, GMA church leader. “It not only brought wider knowledge on the epidemic, but it also opened the minds and hearts of the attendees in ending the stigma. As a church, we should be a light to the people who are suffering from this rising virus. Let us all get informed, get tested, and get involved.”