Cavite Provincial Health Office in collaboration with the Provincial STI, HIV and AIDS Council and Local AIDS Council of Rosario conducted a Candle Lighting Ceremony to honor, support, and advocate for those who have been affected by the global HIV on May 18, 2017 at the Casa Hacienda, Tejeros Convention, Rosario, Cavite. The event also served as a call to end the AIDS epidemic through a grassroots mobilization campaign for awareness and social consciousness.
Mr. Ruben R. Quinto, Executive Assistant, welcomed and thanked all the participants on behalf of Municipal Mayor Jose Voltaire V. Ricafrente. He cited the LGUs goal to develop public awareness and education campaigns focusing on HIV prevention, treatment, care, and research.
The highlight of the event was the Lotus Ceremony, the lighting of candles to remember and memorialize those who passed on with AIDS participated in by Rosario Rural Health Unit Staff, Municipal Employees, Poz Cavite Support Group, Inc. members (PCSGI), IKATLO Gay Movement (Gays and Lesbians Federation of Rosario) and other participants. AIDS Memorial Quilt Panels were also displayed. These panels had been sewn together by friends, lovers and family members and were accompanied by letters and biographies, all of which speak of the experience of life in the age of AIDS, documenting the effect on those lost and those left behind.
Earlier, an HIV Counselling and Testing was conducted by HIV Trained Counsellor and HIV Proficient Medical Technologist. Out of fifty four (54) TB patients/Most At Risk Population (MARPs) and pregnant women tested, no one was found positive. A lecture was also conducted by Ms. Haydelisa D. Maderazo, Provincial HIV Coordinator which was attended by 241 participants.
Some local officials of Rosario also attended the event to show their support to the HIV awareness program. (PICAD)