Connect with us

News

CSC holds free HIV testing initiative for ‘anti-stigma’ campaign

A total of 544 Thomasians took the Central Student Council (CSC)’s HIV testing initiative, CSC Secretary Therese Gorospe said.

Published

on

Photo from the Central Student Council Twitter account.

A total of 544 Thomasians took part in the first free Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) testing service initiative in the University led by the Central Student Council (CSC) as part of their campaign against stigma on various health and social issues.

The tests were supposed to run only from Wednesday to Thursday, but the testing service was extended until yesterday since a large number of Thomasians were interested in undergoing the HIV test, CSC Secretary Therese Gorospe told TomasinoWeb.

“Marami talagang Thomasians na gustong magpatest ng HIV,” Gorospe said.

She further told that they were approached by University administrators for a project on HIV and that they supported the CSC’s proposal to conduct free HIV testing services for students, and thus the council subsequently included it as part of their anti-stigma campaign.

“Since yung administrators tinap na rin kami na sana daw magkaroon ng isang project about HIV, so grinab na namin yung chance na ‘yun na pag-isahin yung mga nasistigmatize na advocacies like HIV, women’s health, PWD (persons with disability) and mental health,” she said.

Gorospe hopes that their campaign would help in actively combating stigma on individuals living with HIV and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

The tests were conducted by the Department of Health (DOH) Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and the Manila Health Department Social Hygiene Clinic, in coordination with the UST Career and Counseling Center.

Individuals who underwent the tests were also given short counseling sessions on HIV, AIDS and the misconceptions that surround the disease.

Anna (not her real name) praised the CSC for the free testing service since she has long been afraid to undergo testing due to costs and that she did not want to disclose to her family that she was sexually active.

“Buti na lang libre at mabilis siya so I can finally know kung positive ba ako or hindi,” she said.

Nonetheless, Anna urged people “to please get tested sexually active ka man o hindi and I hope sana na mabreak na yung stigma na sa LGBT lang [ang HIV] nakaka-infect or slut-shaming or yung takot ng tao on HIV and sa mismong testing kasi it can prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS kung maaagapan agad at well-informed ang tao.”

August last year, the DOH declared that the country has the “fastest growing HIV epidemic in the Asia and the Pacific” as HIV cases reached more than 10,000 in 2016. The department accounted stigma as a cause for the low rate of individuals interested in HIV testing and treatment in the country.

Individuals aged 15 to 24 account for an estimated 62 percent of new HIV cases in the country, according to the National Youth Commission.

In order to combat the rising number of HIV cases in the country, the House of Representatives approved on its third and final reading last December House Bill No. 6617 or the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act.

The bill seeks amend Republic Act No. 8504 or the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998 by strengthening measures against HIV and AIDS in the country through evidence-based programs for propagating correct information about the disease, better access to HIV and AIDS-related services, and stiffer penalties on discriminatory acts against individuals living with HIV.

A counterpart Senate bill is already pending for its second reading.

Comments

News

Thomasians join protest vs tyranny, ‘de facto’ Martial Law

Several Thomasian progressive youth groups trooped to Luneta for the United People’s Action that condemned the current administration’s implementation of “de facto” Martial Law in the country, Friday, Sept. 21.

Published

on

martial law anniversary protesters
Photo by Christine Tapawan/TomasinoWeb.

For the commemoration of the 46th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, several Thomasian progressive youth groups trooped to Luneta for the United People’s Action that condemned the current administration’s implementation of “de facto” Martial Law in the country, Friday, Sept. 21.

Thomasians lambasted President Rodrigo Duterte’s policies that “curtail and repress the democracy of the Filipino people.”

Anakbayan UST SHS spokesperson Ronel Reyes said that the dooms of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos are being felt under Duterte’s presidency.

“Mariin nating kinokondena ang “de facto” Martial Law na ipinatutupad ni Pangulong Duterte na wala ring pinagkaiba sa ginugunita natin ngayon, ang anibersaryo ng Martial Law ng diktador na si [Ferdinand] Marcos,” Reyes said in a chance interview with TomasinoWeb.

He also added, “masasabi nating may de facto Martial Law kasi ang mga nangyayari ngayon sa’ting bansa ay katulad din sa nangyayari dati.”

Reyes stressed that the Thomasian community’s participation is important as it’s a way to fight for the rights of fellow Filipinos.

“Mahalaga po [ang partisipasyong ng mga Tomasino] dahil tayo ay hindi dapat nakukulong sa apat na sulok ng paaralan, dapat tayong makiisa sa laban ng mga Pilipino; hindi tayo hiwalay. Pinagsasamantalahan tayo ng parehong sistema,” Reyes said.

‘Never Again to Martial Law’

Unfazed by the sudden downpour of rain, the protest still pushed through at around 2 pm. and converged with other different organizations from the University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, De La Salle University, among others.

Chanting “Never Again to Martial Law,” the students were joined by other activist groups from different sectors and then marched to Luneta for the activities and programs prepared.

Also present in the protest were Lumads that recently visited and held “Bakwit School” in the University last Sept. 10.

READ: UST welcomes, pledges support for Lumads

On the other hand, “Pro-Duterte” groups also staged “counter-protest” at Burnham Green in Rizal Park carrying placards of praise of the administrations programs and policies.

Under the Proclamation 1081, Marcos enacted Martial Law that led to the killings and imprisonment of more than 70,000 people, according to Amnesty International.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) deployed more than 4000 cops around the area for the said event.

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada suspended classes in all levels, both public and private, citing safety and security reasons for the students.

Comments

Continue Reading

News

UST welcomes, pledges support for Lumads

The Thomasian community along with other progressive youth groups welcomed Lumads as they trooped to the University to voice out their call to end Martial Law in Mindanao, assuring them of support as “Bakwit School sa UST” commenced, Monday, Sept. 10.

Published

on

thomasians protesting for lumads
Photo by Jude Camot/TomasinoWeb.

The Thomasian community along with other progressive youth groups welcomed indigenous peoples as they trooped to the University to voice out their call to end Martial Law in Mindanao, assuring them of support as “Bakwit School sa UST” commenced, Monday, Sept. 10.

UST Simbahayan Director Mark Anthony Abenir addressed the cultural minorities and said that UST “as a Catholic institution stands by the poor and the oppressed.”

“Ang UST bilang Katolikong pamantasan patuloy na naninindigan sa kapakanan ng mga mahihirap, ng mga naaapi at ng mga pinagsasamantalahan,” Abenir said as he welcomed Lumads for the second year of Lakbayan.

Despite the heavy downpour of rain, the “Salubungan” activity still pushed through with Lumads and Thomasians entering the Arch of the Centuries.

Meanwhile, UST Central Student Council (CSC) Secretary Robert Gonzales expressed support in ending Martial Law in Mindanao and assured the Lumads of the Thomasians’ continued assistance in rebuilding classrooms and other material support.

“Nakikiisa rin ang mga Tomasino upang ipaglaban at itaguyod ang paglaban natin para sa edukasyon. Tutulong kami sa abot ng aming makakaya upang itaguyod ang Lumad bakwit schools,” Gonzales said.

The UST CSC Secretary also added, “ipagpapatuloy namin ang pagsuporta sa mga paaralan ng mga Lumad sa pagpapatayong muli sa mga silid-aralan at iba pang suportang materyal. Ang paaralan ninyo ay paaralan rin namin.”

Moreover, cultural presentations were conducted including a performance by Tubaw, a reenactment by the Lumad students and a community dance together with Thomasians.

‘Buksan ang puso’t isipan’

Manilyn Gantangan, a grade 10 Lumad student, challenged Thomasians “to open their hearts and minds in what’s really happening in the society.”

“Hinahamon ko po ang lahat ng mga nakikinig na buksan po natin ang ating puso’t isipan at alamin natin ang totoong nangyayari sa ating lipunan,” Gantangan said.

Sr. Patricia Fox was also present and urged Thomasians to “hear what’s happening and listen to their story.”

“I think one of the problems is people are not hearing really about what’s happening there. So I think it’s great that the Thomasian community has accepted them, to listen to them and then get their stories out to others so that people know what’s happening,” Sr. Fox said in a chance interview with TomasinoWeb.

She also added that Lumads deserve “to live in peace and have a good education.”

“Well, I think they’ve got a just demand. Every young person should have a right to education. They have a right to be there to live in peace, to have a good education.” Sr. Fox said.

UST Save Our Schools (SOS) Networks volunteer Hannah Rondilla gave a solidarity message and asked the Thomasian community to heed the call to fight land-grabbing of ancestral lands.

“Makiiisa rin sana ang mga Tomasino upang tutulan ang pangangamkam sa mga lupaing ninuno at ipaglaban ang karapatan ng pambansang minorya para sa sariling pagpapasya,” Rondilla urged.

The said event will continue until September 17 in which various activities including Unity Walk, a peace forum and a grand solidarity night are expected to happen.

Last April 20, UST Simbahayan inked a partnership with alternative school for the Lumad as they commit to defend education and for the rehabilitation of school facilities.

Comments

Continue Reading

News

UST boosts performance in guidance counselor board exam

The University recorded a perfect passing rate in the August 2018 guidance counselor licensure examination.

Published

on

Photo by Jester Ramos/TomasinoWeb.

The University recorded a perfect passing rate in the August 2018 guidance counselor licensure examination.

UST improved to a 100-percent passing mark, with all four Thomasian examinees passed.

Last year, no Thomasian made it to the cut.

No Thomasian, meanwhile, made it to the top ten for this year’s licensure exam.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 307 out of 471 takers passed the board exam for guidance counselors. Rex Morales

Comments

Continue Reading

Trending