The University of San Carlos initiated free testing for possible infliction of HIV on September 26, 2023, in the Talamban Campus and on September 27, 2023, in the Downtown Campus.
The free HIV testing was organized by the Philippine Catholic HIV in partnership with AIDS Network (PhilCHAN)-Cebu. It was open to all USC students, employees, and off-campus alumni.
According to USC External Relations Director Brenette L. Abrenica, , M.A.P.A., M.Po.Sc., the free testing was considered part of USC’s mission to provide information about the silent pandemic.
“It is our social and moral responsibility to contribute to the normalization of the discussion about HIV and AIDS and link those who are vulnerable to the continuum of care,” she added.
“We are doing this as a Witness to the Word,” she pointed out.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) weakens the immune system of the human body while acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) refers to the condition that can happen to a person because of an HIV infection when one’s immune system gets severely weakened. In other words, patients must test positive for HIV first before it can lead to AIDS.
In its May 2023 surveillance report on HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI), the Department of Health in Central Visayas recorded 101 newly diagnosed HIV cases which placed the region in the fourth spot in the country.
It is in the context of this pressing situation that the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Health Care (CBCP-ECHC) and PhilCHAN-Cebu collaborated with the University of San Carlos to conduct free HIV testing.