Zonta Club of Cebu II raises vigilance against AIDS through webinar

On 1 December, the Zonta Club of Cebu II, Philippines, organized a webinar in observance of World AIDS Day. The webinar aimed to re-ignite the audience’s interest in the virus and raise vigilance against it. Medical students, barangay health workers, medical practitioners, social workers and members of the LGBTQ sector were part of the more than 100 participants in the webinar. 

The call to vigilance was reinforced by the talk, “Behave Please, And Stay Safe,” by Percival Cendaňa, formerly of the National Youth Commission. Percival used road signs with catchy words such as fear, capacitate, empower and more to bring awareness to the issue and possible solutions.

The second lecture topic, “The 2 Pandemics That Refuse to Go Away”, was assigned to Dr. Bryan Albert Lim. Bryan unraveled the mysteries surrounding HIV, how it replicates itself, and weakens the body’s protective capability, allowing opportunistic infections to cause a collection of diseases that ravage all organ systems. 

Putting HIV side-by-side with the Covid-19 virus, he explained viral mutation characteristics unique to HIV, making HIV vaccine development elusive for decades. On a positive note, the scientific method used in making a particular type of Covid-19 vaccine is the one bright guiding principle that seems promising for HIV/AIDS, that will finally beat the unbeatable. 

Informing someone in the family that one has HIV is a dilemma, which Dr. Helen V. Madamba has skillfully guided the audience through with disclosure. Helen also discussed diagnosis, treatment, compliance to long-term care, family relationships, counseling and protection of the patient from domestic abuse. 

The club will continue to help in the crusade to contain and eliminate HIV/AIDS in their cities.