This is a press release from LoveYourself, Inc.
MANILA, Philippines – LoveYourself, Incorporated and its 7 partner organizations have come together to provide the first-ever multi-site, community-led free and confidential HIV test on Saturday, May 26.
The free testing will be conducted from 11 am to 7 pm on May 29 in 10 sites in Metro Manila, Luzon and Mindanao.
Dubbed as “This Is Me: Brave and Free,” LoveYourself invites individuals of various shapes and sizes to avail of the free and confidential HIV test by signing up at This Is Me, and to live their lives free from fear – fear of rejection, getting tested, and stigma.
In Metro Manila, LoveYourself will hold testing in these locations:
In the greater Luzon area, testing will be held at these locations:
In Mindanao, testing will be conducted at these locations:
Department of Health (DOH) records showed that 912 persons tested positive for HIV in March 2018 alone. Of this number, about 94% are males.
The DOH records also showed that 99% of the newly-diagnosed individuals got the virus through sexual contact. Of these cases, 86% were among men who have sex with men (MSMs), while 1% got infected through needle-sharing among drug users.
“With the increasing number of people acquiring human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), LoveYourself endeavors to gather fellow warriors in the advocacy for a stronger and resounding voice to promote self-empowerment in taking care of one’s sexual health, as a prelude to curbing the HIV epidemic in the country,” said LoveYourself Executive Director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan.
Apart from its primary goal of instilling awareness and action towards ending HIV, “This Is Me: Brave and Free” boosts one’s self-worth and inspires unity in diversity, and brings the message of love, acceptance and finding strength and courage to overcome fear, which are often associated with HIV and AIDS.
The program is also supported by the DOH through the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and its NCR-Office, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Incorporated, Save the Children, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Philippines, Philippine NGO Council on Population Health and Welfare, Inc. (PNGOC), AusAID Australian Aid Program, and HIVOS Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation.
LoveYourself is a non-governmental organization and widely volunteer-led organization that advocates for HIV awareness, testing, and treatment. It also provided the impetus for the first-ever Love Gala, a charity and awards event for HIV-AIDS awareness in Asia by gathering private and public institutions and youth-oriented organizations into the advocacy, and the creator of pioneer Ripple Awards that honors individuals who have had a significant impact in the HIV-AIDS landscape in Asia and the Philippines.
Will you go out and get tested on May 26? – Rappler.com