By Xianthe Dianna Gomez, Ф2018B Class 2022
EmpoweRED is an awareness campaign started by the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority on October 2014 which aims to remove the stigma surrounding HIV patients through a series of talks. Since then, the campaign has been brought to different medical schools in an effort to inform more people about the disease and empowering individuals living with HIV.
On August 21, 2018, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority launched its first attempt to bring EmpoweRED to senior high school students by partnering with the Manila Science High School. The event was held at the Manila Science High School Auditorium, and was attended by over 200 senior high school students. There were two speakers who shared their knowledge and information regarding HIV to the attendees.
The first speaker was Dr. Winlove Mojica, a dermatologist, who lectured about SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression) and the clinical aspect of HIV. He talked about the ways by which HIV can be transmitted other people and debunked myths about HIV/AIDS. Dr. Mojica also emphasized the need for protection against HIV and taught the students what they could do to lower their risk for acquiring it.
The second speaker, Nanay Elena Felix, recounted how she was diagnosed as HIV positive in the 90s, when HIV was highly stigmatized and there was not cure yet for it. She shared how the diagnosis affected her and her family, her occupation, and her day-today life after receiving the diagnosis.
EmpoweRED is one of the events of the Phi Service Month under the office of the Sister Caritas, Alyssa Louise Aquino Uy Ф2017 Class 2021. The event was headed by Czarina Ann Baydo Baptisma Ф2018A Class 2022, Sophia Amabelle Fajardo de Chavez Ф2018B Class 2022, and Xianthe Dianna Fabian Gomez Ф2018B Class 2022, and was sponsored by McDonald’s.