A few weeks back there was an email/ posting being spread around the web about how several establishments in QC are implied to have HIV+ workers. It claimed that it got its information from a reputable Government Social Hygiene Clinic. It caused quite a stir for several reasons (confidentiality being a primary concern).
For the past months, there seems to be a lot of media blast to put the fear of HIV/ AIDS in us. I agree with the message but not the means. Why? When people are afraid they make two choices... Fight or Flight. People usually pick flight. They shy away from everything that is related to the source of the fear, even learning more about it. Educated or non-educated, I have met so many people that are afraid to go get themselves tested. Even if they have not engaged in risky behaviors, even if they have never had anal sex (yes, I believe them). Granted this is not the only way to get it... but it is ranked as one of the highest risks. I do not mean to belittle the situation. HIV/AIDS is a serious matter but if the direction is to scare people into celibacy, then we are indeed in a bad situation made worse.
All this fear mongering made me feel like we are back in the 80's when AIDS was still called GRID (gay related immune deficiency).
Here is the official statement from Quezon City Health Department regarding the malicious email.
March 2, 2010
Dr. Antonieta V. Inumerable
City Health Officer
Quezon City Health Department
To: The members/patrons/supporters/readers of this website:
Subject: Daming may AIDS na Masahista
This is in response to the article “ EEWWW Ang Daming may AIDS na Masahista!!!!” posted in this website (puri_titiwang) in February 18, 2010. Bernardo Social Hygiene Clinic, Quezon City Health Department, vehemently denies such allegations that we released list of positive VD results of male therapists who consulted in our clinic. The information that was posted were baseless and therefore erroneous, such as:
1. First of all, the staff of the Bernardo Social Hygiene Clinic are all professionals. They are oriented to observe utmost confidentiality as stipulated in the Republic Act 8504 (Philippine National AIDS Law). The law states that it is unlawful to release any information gathered during client- doctor relationship most specially with regards his HIV status to anybody except to the patient or client himself.
2. Our clinic is Bernardo Social Hygiene Clinic (BSHC) not Bernardo Health Center.
3. Only 6 out of the 12 establishments mentioned avail of the services of BSHC.
4. VD results does not show signs of HIV, neither HIV can lead to Hepa A, B, and C as alleged by the author (pinton 95). The only way to diagnose HIV is thru HIV Antibody Test
5. All facts mentioned in the article were Fictitious and totally Baseless –
The Quezon City Social Hygiene Clinics prepare and submit monthly reports to the Health Office and to the Department of Health based on accomplishments. We do not mention names of persons nor establishments.
6. Dapat tandaan , hindi lang masahista ang pwedeng magka HIV. Lahat tayo, kung hindi tayo mag-iingat.
7. Upang makaiwas sa sakit na HIV o Hepatitis C and B:
a. Maging tapat sa iisang “Uninfected sex partner”. Huwag papalit-palit ng partner.
b. Huwag makipagsex ng walang proteksyon! Laging gumamit ng condom.
c. Huwag gumamit o magtuturok ng bawal na gamot/droga! Huwag gagamit ng karayom/heringgilya na nagamit na ng iba.
Dapat Tandaan! Ingat Lagi!!!!
Rantings of a scatterbrained human being
- awareness not fear