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Free HIV/AIDS counseling and testing conducted at the Capitol

| by: Roger Serna

Some 38 Provincial Capitol employees volunteered to undergo the free HIV/AIDS test held at the social hall last May 20 from 8 a.m. to 12 nn. All volunteers tested negative of the dreaded disease.

The act was a show of support to the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial activity held last May 17 which urged the public to join communities around the world in the largest grassroots movement to end the AIDS epidemic and to unite to demand a sustainable AIDS response.

Each volunteer was asked to register and fill out an information sheet which asked if he/she is ‘living with a partner’ regardless of whether he/she is single, married, separated or widower. Another question was whether the respondent worked overseas or abroad in the past five years.

Stated choices for the reason in undergoing the test include: mother is infected with HIV, sex partner is infected with HIV, shared needles/syringes with IDUs, accidental needle prick, recommended by physician, requirement for insurance, received blood transfusion, re-check previous HIV test result, local employment, overseas employment, no particular reason and others (which asked the respondent to specify).

The history of exposure was likewise asked. Under this section, the volunteer was asked if the birth mother was infected with HIV or not at the time of delivery.

Furthermore, the volunteer is also asked whether or not he/she received blood transfusion, injected drugs without doctor’s advice, accidentally pricked by needle, had sexually transmitted infections, had sex with a female with no condom, had sex with a male with no condom, had sex with a person in prostitution and regularly accepted payment for sex.

The year the experience happened was likewise required if the answer was in the affirmative.

The number of sexual partners, male or female, and the year of last sex act with that partner were likewise inquired.