Dear Friends in the field of HIV and AIDS
It was in December 2007 that I have assumed the presidency of the AIDS Society of the Philippines, Inc. (ASP). It was a time of uncertainty and just like all other Philippine HIV and AIDS NGOs,it was faced with near extinction because of dwindling funds.
Fortunately, the ASP has withstood such challenge as it became the Department of Health’s prime partner in the implementation of the Global Funds for the HIV component from 2008 up to the present.
Through the years, the ASP has honed its skill as a program administrator/manager and to a certain extent, provided technical assistance to the Philippine government in implementing HIV and AIDS programs by capacitating different local government units on HIV and AIDS preventive and promotive programs, HIV peer outreach activities and the like. For that,ASP is honored and privileged to be in anyway of help to contribute to the HIV national responses targeting the most at risk populations (MARPS) — people in prostitution (PIP), men having sex with men (MSM), people who inject with drugs (PWID) migrant workers and their partners. Six years has passed by and ASP has learned to face all odds and challenges as with HIV program implementation and has remained committed to serve its stakeholders working in the fields.
This 15th May 2015 marks a very auspicious milestone in my HIV and AIDS profession as I hereby turn over the leadership and presidency to Dr Maria Isabel Melgar. As I step down as President, I will be in turn still be active as one of the three (3) Board of Advisers of the Foundation.
May I take this opportunity to introduce Dr Maria Isabel Melgar.
Isabel, as commonly called by her colleagues is a PAP-certified Clinical Psychologist and Psychometrician. She has been with AIDS work since the early 1990s and has a formidable understanding of the history of HIV and AIDS in the Philippines, as she is one of the key persons who has helped during the early years of the AIDS Society of the Philippines, in particular, the running of various HIV and AIDS skills building workshops.
Professor/Dr Melgar is a full time faculty member of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), Director for Clinical & Community Service ADMU; Section head of Patient support services, St Lukes Cancer Institute of St Lukes Hospital; and has served as co-investigator, research consultant of various researches of various sciences and disciplines and she has authored various books, chapters related to her field of expertise and interest to include HIV and AIDS.
I am deeply honored as I present Dr Melgar to all of you as the new President of The AIDS Society of the Philippines. ASP will be led by a staunch advocate and surely will bring new horizons to the agency. I am thanking each and everyone for their warm welcome and support as we jointly continue to heighten and intensify our energies towards curbing the Philippines HIV and AIDS epidemic!
With warm regards
Jose Narciso Melchor C Sescon, MD FPOGS
Outgoing ASP President
President, AIDS Society of the Philippines, Inc 2008-2015
Board of Adviser, ASP 2015 up to the present