DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The National Youth Commission is urging parents to be more open towards having their children tested for Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV infection.

NYC Chairperson Aiza Seguerra said the youth is now the “face of HIV” in the country with 24 young Filipinos getting infected daily.

Seguerra said the law does not allow a minor to get tested unless she or he has a parents’ consent. The commissioner said this is a challenge since it is hard for teenagers to open up to parents about sex.

“Tayo nga magpaalam lang sa magulang natin ng night out ang hirap na eh. What more sasabihin mo sa magulang mo na, Ma, Pa I’m sexually active, Ma, Pa I might have HIV, please go with me,” Seguerra told reporters in a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday.

Seguerra said out of the 28 Filipinos infected, 24 of them are youth.

“Sixty-two percent of new infections are among 15-24 year-old, 85 percent belong to the 15-30 year old,” he said.

Seguerra said they have already prepared modules and have worked with youth groups from schools and the communities to give inputs and raise awareness on the issue.

She said even if the Department of Education does not favor distribution of condoms in schools, the teachers should assist in providing information to guide the students.

“I humbly implore our teachers also na sana po ay maging partner namin kayo dito sa pagbibigay ng tamang impormasyon. Kung hindi pwede sa school at least alam ng mga tao san sila pwede kumuha ng proteksyon (I humbly implore our teachers to be our partners in providing the right information. If the school does not allow it, at least the public should know where to get protection),” he said.

The DepEd has recently decided not to be involved in the distribution of condoms in school, a program by the Department of Health.

The NYC is working with the Department of Education and the Department of Health in addressing the HIV/AIDS problem in the country.

As per the latest record of the DOH, there are 366 new cases of HIV/AIDS in Davao City from January to October 2016. This brings the total number of HIV/AIDS from 1984 to present to 1,793 cases.

Of the 366 new cases, 348 of them are male patients.
The highest numbers of infected were aged 25 to 34 with 190 patients and aged 15 to 24 with 139 patients.(davaotoday.com)

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