Last November 14, 2016 (Monday), the 6TH Catholic Asia-Pacific Coalition against HIV-AIDS meeting was held in the Rector’s Hall of the University of Santo Tomas. The meeting gathered participants from the different parts of the world, led by Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes and Myanmar Bishop Alexander Cho.

Rev. Fr. Dan Cancino, MI, Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’s Commission on Health Care, presented the overview of HIV in the Philippines.

According to UST’s Counseling and Career Center director Lucila O. Bance, PhD, the coalition met in UST not just to promote the advocacy but to also learn best practices. “They came here and discussed the present status of HIV/AIDS in the country. Part of the discussion is the integration of the awareness campaign in our curriculum, and this can be facilitated through the Theology courses offered by the Institute of Religion.” The integration of HIV/AIDS awareness in curricular and co-curricular aspects was presented by Asst. Prof. Allan A. Basas, SThD, Faculty Secretary of the Institute of Religion.

The coalition, Bance revealed, is also going to provide free screening for HIV/AIDS and if found positive, will likewise assist in providing healthcare to the patients.