MAASIN CITY (PIA) -- The city local government unit here joined with the rest of the world in a global celebration of World AIDS Day, Thursday, December 1, with the theme, “Putting ourselves to the test: Achieving Equity to end HIV.”

The daylong activity in the city was spearheaded by the City Health Office in close coordination with the Ajonay Pride Organization.

The day began with a motorcade around the city led by Glenn Cutamora, president of Ajonay Pride, then a conference followed at the city gym with Dr. Dax Romeo Roa, chief of hospital at Salvacion Oppus Yniguez Memorial Provincial Hospital (SOYMPH), as the guest speaker.

In his talk, Dr. Roa discussed at length the disease, including ways to avoid it, and healing for those who were already living with it.

City Mayor Nacional Mercado, for his part, vowed that the city LGU will always support programs and activities that heighten awareness about AIDS, short for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and to help protect HIV patients against discrimination.

The highlight of the day’s event was the candle lighting ceremony, a dramatic moment dedicated to victims and to those who lost their lives because of the disease. (MMP with a report from Lorena Acasio, City info officer)