Zonta Club of Cebu II Organizes a Webinar on the “Two Pandemics that Crushed the World” to Commemorate World Aids Day

Zonta Club of Cebu II organized a webinar on December 1, 2021, in observance of World AIDS Day, which re-ignited the audience’s interest in a disease, about which everyone in the virtual audience was reminded to stay vigilant, so as not to allow the disease to become an overwhelming public threat. 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, entitled “Behave Please, And Stay Safe”, of Commissioner Percival Cendaňa, formerly of the National Youth Commission.  Commissioner Cendaňa used “road signs” with catchy words, like FEAR, CAPACITATE, EMPOWER, PROVIDE SERVICES, ENABLING, ENVIRONMENT, that said much about the problem, and the possible solutions.

The second lecture topic, that of “The 2 Pandemics That Refuse to Go Away”, was assigned to Dr. Bryan Albert Lim, who brilliantly explained a complex topic, as he 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, that are unique to HIV, which made HIV vaccine development evasive for decades. On a positive note, the scientific method used in making a certain type of Covid-19 vaccine is the one bright guiding principle that seems promising for HIV/AIDS, that will finally “beat the unbeatable”.

“To tell, or not to tell, that someone in the family has HIV” is a dilemma, which Dr. Helen V. Madamba has skillfully guided the audience through, with the process of disclosure.  The awesome realization came about that the attending physician, of the PLHIV, is faced with the responsibilities of diagnosis, treatment, compliance to long-term care, family relationships, counseling, and protection of the patient from domestic abuse.

The officers and members of Zonta Club of Cebu II will continue to help in the crusade to contain and eliminate HIV/AIDS in our cities, together with our partners, the city government of Mandaue, and the resource speakers, who are specialists in their fields of expertise, and are passionate about their mission.