DAVAO DEL NORTE (PIA) — Kapalong Mayor Ma. Theresa Timbol on Wednesday urged municipal employees who belong to lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer (LGBTQ) community to submit themselves to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing to encourage more people to do the same and help stop the spread of the virus.
“Walay renew kung dili magpa test (No renewal if not tested),” she said though in jest. “Kita man ang modelo; kita man ang naa sa municipyo para ang uban mosunod (We are the model; we are at the helm of the municipal hall, let’s take lead so others would follow),” she said during Wednesday’s observance of International AIDS Candlelight Memorial that the municipal government of Kapalong hosted at the Townsquare, Maniki, Kapalong.
Timbol was wary about the increasing number of cases of HIV infection in Kapalong which according to data shown during the event, already had 13 cases as of 2018 report. HIV is a precursor to the dreaded acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS.
“Naa tay test karon, libre siya (The testing is available; that is free). Our challenge is for us to submit to the test. Mao ni ang pinaka una nga step (that is the very first step),” she said.
“Kinahanglan mangisog jud ta nga magpa test kung naa ba o wala. (We should take the courage to submit for testing to know whether we have it or not),” she added.
Davao del Norte Provincial Health Officer Alfredo Lacerona said the incidence of HIV in Kapalong used to be just eight cases.
“Bisan ug gamay ra siya, naga saka ang cases. (Just few, but the number is increasing),” he said.
“Paspas ang ilang tubo, mao na ang hadlok (It’s increasing fast, that’s the concern), he said during the same event where he was one of the guest speakers.
Timbol assured everyone of the local government’s readiness and willingness to assist those who would be willing to submit for free HIV testing and particularly those found infected.
“Ang local government, kami diri sa lungsod, (we in the local government), we are your partners to assist unsay kaya o pwede to assist you (whatever we can to assist you),” she said.
Timbol and Lacerona led the candle-lighting ceremony that followed the program, designed not only to raise awareness on HIV AIDS infection and disseminate information on free government medical care on persons with HIV, but also to pray for those who died of the disease. (PIA-XI)
Source: PIA Feed