The Department of Education will start implementing the school-based education and prevention campaign nationwide to provide accurate information and comprehensive knowledge on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the workplace.

Education Secretary Armin A. Luistro said in a press statement that the directive to conduct the orientation workshop on HIV and AIDS education is pursuant to Republic Act (R.A.) 8504 or the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1988 and the Civil Service Commission Guidelines in the Implementation of Workplace Policy and Education Program on HIV and AIDs.

“This move is guided by a sense of urgency to address the unabated increase in the incidence of HIV infection in high- risk areas in the country,” explained Luistro.

The Philippines is one of two countries in Asia which has registered a spike in HIV incidence in recent years.

“This is happening while the rest of the region has been experiencing a downward trend,” Luistro added.

Official documents from the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) of the Department of Health reported 313 cases in its 2012 March AIDS Registry, which means ten cases of HIV infection are being reported in the country every day.

DepEd has already finished the training of trainers on HIV/AIDS information and prevention program for the National Capital Region last July 11 to 13 for participants from the initial 8 Metro Manila divisions.

The second batch of training was held last July 18 to 20 and was attended by 8 more NCR divisions. The Visayas leg will be held in Cebu on August 8 to 10 while the Mindanao leg will be in Davao on August 15 to 17, 2012.

The Department, with assistance from core trainers of the education committee of the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) will conduct the orientation for DepEd officials from the regions and divisions, including health personnel and administrative officers, education supervisors as well as alternative learning personnel.

“First we create awareness, then we communicate accurate, appropriate and comprehensive information, and then we institute measures on how to prevent its spread by translating such knowledge into positive behavioral change. This can be done through a continuing education and information campaign that is culture and gender-sensitive for our employees and teachers, said Luistro.

DepEd is duty-bound to accelerate the implementation of its HIV and AIDS education program in compliance with its duties and responsibilities as a member of the PNAC.

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