The Batch Vertex of Cebu Institute of Medicine joins the fight against the HIV stigma, in hopes of bringing hope, spreading awareness and advocating life with a slogan FEEL NO SHAME, STOP THE BLAME.
FEEL NO SHAME. HIV/AIDS goes beyond personal concern; it is a social matter. It is a diagnosis; not a moral judgment.
STOP THE BLAME. In this world full of negativity, we cannot afford to be each other’s adversary. Together, HIV positive or not, let us start living in harmony and working towards a common goal: an HIV learned society, and a culture of responsibility.
– Batch Vertex
But first let us have a quick overview and understand about HIV
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus Disease or the HIV is the etiologic agent of AIDS and it belongs to the family of human retroviruses (Retroviridae) and the subjfamily of lentiviruses. It is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T helper cells) which help the immune system fight against infections. So if this is left untreated, there will be a reduction of CD4 cells in the body and will leave the person prone to infections or infection-related cancers.
So how does the HIV transmitted?
HIV is primarily transmitted by sexual contact, injection drug use, blood and blood products; and by infected mothers pt infants intrapartum, perinatally, or via breast milk.
1. Sexual Contact
This is the most common mode of infection, particularly in developing countries and that includes the Philippines. It can be in a heterosexual transmission or homosexual transmission (male-to-male). The virus appears to be concentrated in seminal fluid and vaginal fluid. So there is an elevated risk of transmission when you are unprotected sex.
2. Injection drug use
HIV can be transmitted to IDUs who are exposed to HIV while sharing injection paraphernalia such as needles and syringes.
3. Blood and Blood products
Although blood screening in blood donations is becoming universal, there are some resource-poor countries, HIV continues to be transmitted by blood and blood products due to inadequate screening.
4. Mother-to-Child Transmission
HIV infection can be transmitted from an infected mother to her fetus during pregnancy, during delivery, or by breast feeding. The transmission to the fetus occurs most commonly in the perinatal period. That is why it is important for the mothers to be tested (especially those who are at risk) so that she will be given a prophylactic antiretroviral therapy to suppress viral replication.
Breast feeding is another mode of transmission of HIV in developing countries, particularly where mothers continue to breast feed for prolonged periods. The risk of infection is highest in the early months of breastfeeding.
HIV infection/AIDS is a global pandemic and in the country, Cebu City still has the highest HIV prevalence recorded in province for the first two months of 2016. The intravenous drug use is the top most mode of transmission and the sexual intercourse follows.
HIV infection is a diagnosis and not a moral judgement. The stereotyping, putting someone with the diagnosis in shame should be stopped. Don’t be an ignorant but be educated and help promote awareness to achieve the common goal of this fight against HIV stigma.
The Batch Vertex have pledged Php 50,000 and an additional 50% of the Student’s Night excess funds to their partner PhilCHAN (Philippine Catholic HIVAIDS Network), in hopes of lesseing HIV vertical transmission. The money will provide infant milk formulas to neonates born to HIV positive mothers.
So let us join the Batch Vertex in their advocacy!
For inquiries and donations:
Email us email@example.com
Or approach any CIM BATCH VERTEX member
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