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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.

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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.

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UST aces June 2018 nursing boards

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The University posted a perfect passing rate in the June 2018 licensure examination for nurses as all four Thomasian examinees passed.

Carmela Niña Sampaga Tormo led the new batch of Thomasian nurses, landing on the ninth spot with a score of 85.60 percent.

Last year, UST also recorded a perfect passing rate in which all the four Thomasian examinees passed.

Mark Tristan Pangilinan Robosa of University of Pangasinan topped this year’s board exams with a score of 87.60 percent.

Meanwhile, West Visayas State University – La Paz, Velez College and Xavier University were named top performing schools with a perfect passing rate.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 4,326 out of 9,873 examinees nationwide passed the board exam. 

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UST retains spot in 2019 QS world ranking, fourth in PH top universities

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The University retained its spot on the 801-1,000 bracket of the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, placing fourth among the Philippine universities that made it on the list.

The University of the Philippines kept its place as the country’s top university despite going down in the 384th place from last year’s 367th.

Ateneo de Manila University went down to the 651-700 bracket from the 551-600 last year.

Moreover, De La Salle University joined UST in the 801-1,000 bracket after dropping from last year’s 701-750 bracket.

Despite remaining unmoved from its last year’s spot, UST remained as the only Philippine university to receive a QS four-star rating.

A four-star rated university is “highly international, demonstrating excellence in both research and teaching,” the QS Top Universities website stated.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was hailed again for the seventh-straight year as the top university in the world.

The National University of Singapore dethroned the Nanyang Technological University as the best in Asia, placing 11th worldwide.

The universities are evaluated based on six factors: academic reputation (40%) , employer reputation (10%) ,  faculty/student ratio (20%) , citations per faculty (20%), international faculty ratio (5%), and international student ratio (5%).—B. Laforga

 

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UST slumps in May 2018 chemical eng’g boards

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The University posted a lower passing rate in the May 2018 licensure examination for chemical engineers.

UST registered a 20.69-percent passing rate, wherein only six out of 29 Thomasians passed. Last year, the University garnered a passing rate of 58.82 percent, with 20 out of 34 Thomasian passers.

However, no Thomasians made it to the roster of topnotchers.

Peter Matthew Paul Toribio Fowler of Mapua Institute of Technology-Manila led the new batch of chemical engineers with a score of 83 percent. Meanwhile, De La Salle University-Manila remained as the top performing school, recording a 96.55-percent passing rate.

According to the Professional Regulation Commission, 296 out of 636 examinees nationwide passed the board exam.

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