HAPI Executive Director AJ Ballares an conducting HIV / AIDS lecture in front of students

HAPI Junior raises awareness on HIV/AIDS

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AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is now considered a global epidemic due to its alarmingly high number of recorded cases. Despite that, there are still many questions and misconceptions about the disease. What better way to talk about the truths and facts of this life threat than with the youth.

HAPI Junior, the youth affairs arm of Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) based in Bacolod City, intends to develop scientific understanding and critical thinking among the youth through a series of talks. First in the series is a HIV/AIDS Symposium held on March 2, 2018 at Bata National High School (BNHS) where the Juniors study. Speaking on the issue was HAPI Executive Director Alvin John Ballares who discussed common approaches, causes and symptoms, and prevention and history of the disease.

HAPI Executive Director AJ Ballares an conducting HIV / AIDS lecture in front of students

Being an issue of international import, the symposium was attended by students from various classes and grade levels of BNHS. Ballares made the talk interesting using a combination of great presentation and unmatched sense of humor. Students were in awe as they process every new piece of information with interest and concern. Proof of this were the many questions raised to Ballares after the presentation. Not only were students’ curiosity fed, but their minds enlightened about the dreaded disease.

HIV / AIDS Statistics

Out of 36.9 million people worldwide currently living with HIV/AIDS, over two million of them are children. An estimate of 5,000 new infections per day are recorded around the globe. The Philippines is one of the countries with higher recorded figures by the day. Bacolod City, having gained the name of being one of the cities with the most number of people infected by HIV/AIDS, was pleased to have a Bacolodnon, and a secular humanist at that, share his knowledge alongside individuals who have been raising awareness of the disease.

Raising Awareness

Photos of the first ever patients diagnosed with the disease including famous and influential personalities were shown to the students in order to make a point — HIV/AIDS exempt no one. HIV/AIDS have claimed a long list of names from different backgrounds, cultures, ages, genders, professions and beliefs, causing drastic changes to every patient’s lifestyle which is usually aggravated by the prying eyes of the society. The next name on the growing list could be anyone’s if unprotected sex and unhygienic intravenous procedure continue. This warning was given more than enough during the talk.

Talks on sensitive issues like those of HIV/AIDS would not be possible without the care and hard work of people who want a healthy future for humanity: Juan Miguel Silva, HAPI Auditor; Rayd Espeja, HAPI Public Relations Officer; Ceejay Pastrana, HAPI Junior – Bacolod Lead Convener; Joshua Villalobos, HAPI Junior – Bacolod Head; and all of the HAPI Juniors. Secular humanism has again empowered the Bacolodnon youth to continue the pursuit for reason and information.

HAPI receives certificate of appreciation for the HIV / AIDS awareness lecture

Ignorance clouds judgment and builds unnecessary walls. Truly, it is worthwhile to make the youth more familiar with the world they live in. Sex education is long overdue in Philippine society, much more in public instruction. It is about time that today’s young generation understands that sex per se does not devalue a human being as long as it is consented, responsible and protected.

 

 

The Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glemir Sordilla

  • HAPI Junior member

“You glow different when you’re doing better.”