The record of new HIV incidence made news last July 2014 when the number reached 585, the highest incidence since 1984. But those who are working in the health sectors and non-government organizations knew that the number will not get any better. “The record of new HIV incidence will not get lower, but it’ll just worsen,” says Mr. Rodel Navarra, Chief Operating Officer of Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI). And true enough, the number of new cases last June 2015, one year after, reached an extremely alarming level at 772 new HIV cases. That’s a big jump from the 17 new HIV incidence per day in 2014 to 22 new HIV incidence in 2015.
Nick Magno, Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI) staff under APHEDA project, attended a five-day Trainor’s Training on SAVE Approach. The training discussed the ways on how to overcome and eliminate stigma and discrimination. It also serves as a venue to address advocacy concerns on access to information, treatment, education, medication and comprehensive program on HIV and AIDS.
As the Bible says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This passage from Galatians 5:14 clearly relates that one should love one another and this includes caring for one another especially during times of crisis or illness. But what if the person who suffers from an illness is a blood relative? An immediate family who needs your care and support? For sure, you will go out of your way to care for that person and give him the most possible comfort that you can afford.
It is for this reason why immediate family members or the affected families (AFs) of the people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA), in order for them to provide proper care and support, attended a series of Home-based Care and Training & Workshop.
This March 2015, Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI) will launch a regular free HIV testing and counseling. Any person who wishes to know his or her HIV will be welcomed by trained staff and volunteers at PAFPIs drop-in center in Dian St., Malate, Manila. After an in-depth and confidential inquiry, a blood sample will be taken and examined for HIV. Confirmatory testing will be submitted to Department of Health testing laboratories. The results will be explained thoroughly in a private one-on-one session.
The love month is here and it is also the time when cupid runs wild. The spell of Venus coupled with the naughtiness of Cupid was a vicious combination that inflicts couples and lovers. Steaming passion consequently shoots the sales of temporary love nests to skyrocket high. But along with it is the increasing chances of HIV infections among hot blooded people wallowing in casual encounters. Needless to say, possibilities of getting infected with HIV is high among people who do not take precautions and use condom for protection.
The holiday season is the time for love and sharing especially to those who needed it most. And this season, Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI) through the support of MAC AIDS Fund conducted a gift giving activity to the patients confined in the H4 Ward at San Lazaro Hospital in Manila last December 15, 2014.
PAFPI’s President Joshua Formentera, Ma. Cristina Culaste and other staff and volunteers of PAFPI brought holiday cheers to 19 patients currently confined in the H4 Ward. “These patients need our care and love especially this holiday season. Most of them are having a hard time coping up financially because being confined in a hospital due to different opportunistic infections is no walk in the park,” Formentera shared.
Contributed by: Fantasy X, Dian Street
I will never forget the moment this girl asked me why am I volunteering for Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Incorporated (PAFPI). She assumed that I am not an HIV positive individual and that I am not an affected family member either. But when I told her that I am a client and that I was diagnosed last May 29, 2013 at Manila Social Hygiene Clinic, I saw how surprised she was.
After that conversation, we made it a point to share countless moments of laughter and endless jokes every time we cross our paths. I wonder if there’s a reason behind her smile. I suddenly had the urge to ask her about it. And here’s her story.
This is my first time to deliver a testimony about my HIV status in front of several unfamiliar faces since I was diagnosed. It feels like I am transported back to a time wherein I am lying on a bed and some of the patients near me were slowly dying. I’ll never forget how life consumed each and every soul beside me. I can hardly see the difference between what I went through on that situation and the feeling I have right now. The similarity is so uncanny that it gave me chills just thinking about it.
Contributed by: Joan delos Reyes Bassig
When you’re burnt out from work, what do you do? When you’ve come to realize that no matter how much you love what you do, working 12 hours a day will not bring you success the way you thought it would. What now?
I decided to volunteer. I had a good talk with a friend of mine whom I haven’t seen for a year. He’s been doing volunteer work at PAFPI and he showed me his plans to help PAFPI become a sustainable NGO. Growing up, my mom would encourage us to volunteer to various churches and school activities. So I thought, this should be pretty straightforward.
It was not; it was more like learning a new culture, with its own language and expressions. Every Friday at PAFPI takes me to the Land of Sailor-moon, costume play and the like. Sex is always the hottest topic, next to hot celebrities and beauty pageants, both local and international. Now and then someone would start to catwalk and everyone else would follow suit. Suddenly, a flash of nostalgia would creep up, of a life that was. I can feel their pain, it’s overwhelming. I am learning a lot from these people; life, love, acceptance, family, sacrifice, hope and so much more. I love every minute of it.