Dialogue with People Living with AIDS

AS PART of the 2019 International Commemoration of the AIDS candlelight memorial, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office 6 initiated a dialogue with People Living with HIV and Youth Leaders during the consultative session on Republic Act 11166 and Research Ethics Involving vulnerable populations with Dr. Fred Guillergan of the West Visayas State University.

Members from local PLHIV support groups from Negros and Panay shared their fears, hopes, and call for action to prevent AIDS-related deaths and reduce stigma among service providers and society.

They are also thankful for being part of the Psychosocial Support Initiative of DSWD that promotes their meaningful engagement in making social protection services more accessible and delivered with respect and with dignity.

The session included a skills building workshop conducted by Reynante Suamen, Regional Information Technology Officer, on how to ensure the protection of data of PLHIV and other highly vulnerable clients during data collection and reporting.

Leo Quintilla also shared his previous experience in the conduct of HIV and AIDS researches and how the training is helpful for the participants in the development of standard operating procedures as the Field Office is envisioning for ISO accreditation in all of its processes as one of the thrusts of the Regional Director Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre.

Family and Community Focal Asuncion Santiago assured participants that the rights and welfare of PLHIV are respected, promoted, and fulfilled through a series of competency building activities for DSWD staff all year round.

Representatives from DSWD admin division, promotive programs, protective services, disaster risk reduction and management division, centers and institutions, and SWAD extension offices participated in the dialogue and learning sessions.

During the session, DSWD social workers expressed that there is a need for them to have specialized training for case management designed to specifically address the unique psychosocial support needs of PLHIV and reintegration process to their families and communities.

John Piermont Montilla, the regional HIV focal committed that a World Health Organizations’ recognized good practice module on case management developed by DSWD registered local auxiliary social welfare and development agency, the Kabataang Gabay sa Positibong Pamumuhay is currently ready to be replicated and conducted in 2019. (J. P. Montilla)