To clear up misconceptions about the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), as well as provide free HIV tests to members of the Benildean community, the College’s first LGBT organization Benilde Hive (BHIVE) held an awareness day on November 22.
The Manila Social Hygiene Clinic and Treatment Hub hosted the series of seminars, with talks about HIV, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) issues, and other sexually transmitted diseases. The free HIV screening, testing, and consultation was done simultaneously with the said seminars.
According to Camille Lorenzo, the advocacy head of Benilde Red Cross Youth Council (BRCYC), approximately one hundred students were present for the event.
Meanwhile, in an interview with The Benildean, Johnsen Dominique Pangantihon, BHIVE Vice President for Internal Affairs, expressed the organization’s desire to erase stigma and stereotypes revolving sexually transmitted diseases.
“I guess you could say [that] one of the reasons why Benilde Hive exists is for us to conduct events like this. We really want to continue on doing this every year because honestly HIV [awareness] is such a relevant thing—an important thing—knowing how rapidly the cases of HIV is growing in our country,” he said.
“Actually, the Philippines has the most number of cases in Asia, because of [this] we really want to ensure we raise awareness, help people protect themselves, and basically erase stereotypes and stigma,” he added.
This event marks the second year BHIVE spearheaded an HIV awareness day, following last year’s maiden function.
The event, in collaboration with the College’s Center for Social Action and BRCYC, was held on the third and fifth floors of the Mutien-Marie Hall, Taft Campus.