HIV/AIDS Youth Advocate Rain: The youth have a right to be free of HIV/AIDS

wad_rainRainer Naldoza

Advocate and member of youth NGOs and development agencies

“The right of the youth to be free of HIV/AIDS”

As a youth advocate, Rain makes sure that UNFPA development projects for HIV/AIDS are attuned to the needs of the youth and the realities that they face as youth (ages 15 to 24 years old) living with HIV/AIDS.

“Sa totoo lang, the information [on sexual health] is there, but the problem is the lack of accurate and right information.”, says Rain. speaking about his observations of the youth today and their attitudes towards sex. “Because of cultural and societal dictates, masyadong pa din limited ang pag access ng information. The youth ignore the awareness campaigns and think that they’re invincible and won’t get infected.”

This feeling of invincibility and lack of access to right and accurate information has dangerous implications for the youth, “They don’t accept that their behavior is risky. Others don’t believe that they are promiscuous and therefore don’t need to practice safe sex. Nahihiya pa sila bumili ng condoms.”

Emphasizing his point, Rain narrates, “Once when my friends and I were at a convenience store, this young guy ahead of us bought 5 packs of condoms. The cashier didn’t say anything, but as soon as the [customer left], she looked at his colleague and they instantly started laughing. ‘Grabe naman yun!’,they said to one another. Because he was buying condoms, they categorized him as someone na “mahilig” or ‘madami itong ka-sex’ the benefits of wearing condoms is overlooked. So what does that say to those of us who heard those comments? Nakakahiya to buy condoms?”

Discrimination such as this is largely due to the lack of proper information. “Pag reproductive health and pinag-uusapan, nangingilag pa din talaga ang mga tao. We need to wake up to the reality because until we do, the youth will remain to be a vulnerable group, when they don’t have to be.”

2 thoughts on “HIV/AIDS Youth Advocate Rain: The youth have a right to be free of HIV/AIDS

  1. tanung ko lang kung sa mga information dissemination about prevention of AIDs ay dinidiscuss din ang spiritual health ng mga kabataan? sa mga nabasa kong articles kasi ay halos tungkol lamang sa prevention ng AIDS through condom use. Very interested ako malaman kung mga christian orgs na nakikibahagi sa ganitong gawain para sa ating filipino youth.

    • Salamat po sa pag basa ng aking mga pahayag. Ang simbahan Catolico at ang mga groupong Catolico ay nagsaad o nag-aadvocate ng abstinence para makaiwas sa HIV/AIDS at iba pang STD. Ang mga ibang organisasyon ay nagpapamahagi ng iba pang paraan para makaiwas sa sakit — ang condom ay isa lang sa mga paraan na ito. Sa maikling salita, mayroon pong tinatawag na ABCs of Prevention:

      A: abstinence
      B: be faitful
      C: condoms

      Salamat po. Sana po ay nasagot ko ang inyong katanungan.

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