TUBOD, Lanao del Norte – To spread further knowledge and awareness of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), especially in the travel sector, the Provincial Health Office (PHO), in partnership with the Provincial Tourism Office, initiated a seminar on HIV Awareness to LGBTQIA+ tourism partners on July 11-12, 2022.
 
The seminar series is in line with the massive campaign of the PHO and PTourism in controlling and preventing the spread of HIV in local communities, specifically targeting the LGBTQIA+ in the travel sector, for studies throughout the world have led to a number of common conclusions about the interrelationships between HIV and tourism. These include the sexual activity of unaccompanied travelers with fellow tourists and the local population, inconsistent condom use in sexual contact during travels, and making new friends and building up relationships that include sexual contact.
 
Alerma Grace Yurong, Provincial Tourism Officer, said, “Travel is important to the LGBTQIA+ community; most agree that it is part of their cultural identity. They spend more on travel than the general population, as well as take more trips, and they are highly vulnerable to engaging in unprotected sex and sexual acts that may lead to HIV.”
 
With their tagline, “We can stop HIV one conversation at a time”, resource speakers from the PHO, Dr. Cristie Joy Indoc-Suerte, Head of Infectious Disease Cluster Dr. Charmaine Pongase, Ms. Xy-za Enterina, Provincial Coordinator for Infectious Disease, and Richie Talapero, HIYAS LaNorte HIV Community Motivator, shared information to equip participants with ample knowledge to tackle issues and realities of HIV, basic understanding on HIV disease management, and natural history and clinical manifestation of the said virus.
 
The 1st day of the said seminar was held at the KIBC Dormitel & Events Place in Kolambugan, catering to LGBTQIA+ partners from Linamon to Kolambugan, while the 2nd day was held at the Valley View Hotel Function Hall in Lala, catering to LGBTQIA+ partners from Tubod to Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte. PIO-LDN