Taguig holds international AIDS candlelight memorial ceremony
Taguig City - The Vista Mall Activity Center came alive with warmth and compassion as the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial Ceremony took place on Friday, May 26. The event, organized by the Taguig City Health Office in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd), aimed to raise awareness and understanding of HIV and AIDS under the theme "Spread Love and Solidarity, Not Stigma and Hate."
The ceremony served as a powerful intervention for global solidarity, breaking down barriers of stigma and discrimination while instilling hope in future generations. It was led by the Taguig Social Hygiene Clinic & Drop-In Center, which spearheaded efforts to promote greater awareness and compassion towards individuals affected by HIV and AIDS.
In a display of unity, 31 barangay health centers across the city simultaneously held candle-lighting ceremonies, offering solemn prayers to honor the memory of those who lost their lives to the disease. The act symbolized the commitment to continue the fight against HIV and AIDS and provide support to those living with the condition.
As part of the campaign to raise awareness, students from seven different schools in Taguig participated in the Indayog ng Musika: Interpretative Dance Contest. Through graceful movements and heartfelt performances, the students aimed to dispel misconceptions and eradicate the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. The dances were inspired by this year's theme, emphasizing love, solidarity, and understanding.
The top three winners of the contest were announced during the event. Taguig Integrated School secured the first-place award, Bagumbayan National High School claimed second place, and Upper Bicutan National High School received the third-place recognition. Certificates and cash prizes were presented to the winners in recognition of their efforts to promote awareness and acceptance.
Several esteemed guests were in attendance, including Committee on Health Chairman Councilor Tikboy Marcelino, Committee on Health Vice Chairman Councilor Marisse Balina-Eron, Councilor Ed Prado, Councilor Edgar Baptista, Councilor Atty. Joy Panga-Cruz, DOH Infectious Disease Prevention Cluster Control Head Dr. Adorissa N. Jurao, DepEd TaPat Superintendent Dr. Cynthia Ayles, City Health Officer Dr. Norena Osano, and STI-HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Program Medical Coordinator Dr. Diwata Arriola.
Under the Caring City agenda of Mayor Lani Cayetano, the Taguig Social Hygiene Clinic and Taguig Social Hygiene Drop-in Center offer free, fast, and confidential services to address the needs of individuals affected by HIV and AIDS. These services include HIV counseling, testing, and treatment, as well as Hepa-B, Syphilis, and other STI testing and treatment. Additionally, the clinic provides a range of services, from baseline lab tests to psychiatry and mental health consultation, ensuring comprehensive care for all individuals seeking support.
Through these initiatives, Taguig City continues its commitment to creating a caring and inclusive community where individuals affected by HIV and AIDS can find the support they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.
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