The Provincial Government of Cavite through the Provincial Health Office in collaboration with the City Government of Tagaytay, the Cavite Positive Action Group and the Department of Health-Region IV-A joined the nation on a mobilization campaign for HIV Awareness through the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial 2019 held at the Tagaytay International Convention Center on May 27, 2019.

Participants to the event who came from different institutions and organizations assembled for “One Big Fight for Health and Rights of People Living with HIV”. They all came to support the advocacy of breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination among individuals diagnosed with the disease, as well as the affected families fighting with them. Students, health workers, and members of the LGBT community participated during the motorcade, showing much support to the efforts of the government in giving hope, engaging the community and raising social consciousness on HIV.

Prior to the memorials that include the lighting of candles, OIC-City Health Officer Dr. Liza Fe Capupus welcomed everyone on behalf of Tagaytay City Mayor Agnes Tolentino, and thanked the Provincial Health Office for helping them conduct this year’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Program.

Dr. Capupus also acknowledged the kind assistance of Provincial HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator Haydeliza Maderazo; Cavite Positive Action Group (CPAG) Coordinator Joseph Honra and Cristina Capacete from DOH and the rest of the team who voluntarily lectured, counseled and performed free HIV testing during the event. The timely lecture presented was the HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention in light of the alarming increase of HIV/AIDS cases detected particularly among the younger bracket of the population.

The simple AIDS Candle Lighting Memorial Ceremony 2019 in Tagaytay City became a very solemn one. Words of commitment from UGAT-LGBTQ President Randy Alvarez and testimonial from CPAG truly touched the hearts of everyone inside the hall. Messages were sincere, deep enough to create impact, promote and encourage education to further intensify the drive to fight for the health and rights of people living with HIV.

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial which started in 1983 is one of the world’s oldest and largest grassroots mobilization campaigns for HIV Awareness, being coordinated by the Global Network of People living with HIV.