(Mandaluyong City). LoveYourself, Inc. and its seven partner organizations come together to provide the first-ever multi-site community-led free and confidential HIV test on 26 May 2018 (Saturday) from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. entailing ten sites in Metro Manila, Luzon and even as far as 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 here, and to live their lives free from fear – fear of rejection, getting tested and stigma.
In Metro Manila, LoveYourself will hold testing in LoveYourself Anglo clinic along Shaw Blvd., in Mandaluyong City, and LoveYourself Uni near Gil Puyat LRT and Victoria by LoveYourself at 2/F Torres Bldg., 2442 Park Avenue, both in Pasay City; the Decent Image of South Signal Association (DIOSSA) at the 10th floor of SM Aura in Taguig City; and the HIV & AIDS Support House (HASH) at the National Council of Churches in the Philippines building along EDSA in Quezon City.
For Luzon sites, the Cavite Positive Action Group (CPAG)-JCH Advocacy, Inc. will provide free and confidential testing at 804 Gonzales St., Barangay 11 Sta. Cruz in Cavite City; the Juan Posi+ive Movement at 104-B Roxas Street, Brgy. Lakandula in Mabalacat City, Pampanga; the GAYON at #32 Galang Compound, Sampaguita Street, Old Albay Legazpi City, Albay; and the Project H4 (Health, Help, Hope, Happiness) at Amos Tara Community Center, #41 Abad Santos St., Brgy. Masipag, Puerto Princesa City.
On its Mindanao-leg, the Kagay-an PLUS (Preserving Life, Uniting Society) will set up at Pearlmont Hotel, Limketkai Drive, Cagayan de Oro City; and the Olympus Society of Davao at #36 Loyola St., Bo. Obrero, Poblacion District, Davao City.
Department of Health (DOH) records showed that 912 persons tested positive for HIV in March alone. About 94% of which are males and 32% of the total came from the National Capital Region (NCR) followed by the rising cases in CALABARZON at 17% and Central Visayas at 7%. The DOH records also showed that 99 percent of the newly-diagnosed individuals got the virus through sexual contact, in which 86 percent were among men who have sex with men (MSMs). The 1% of the cases was contracted through needle sharing among injecting 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.
– 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” empowers one’s self-worth that 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 first-ever multi-site community-led HIV testing day is also supported by the DOH through the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and its NCR-Office, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc., 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. For more details on the “This Is Me: Brave and Free,” one may visit here.
LoveYourself is a non-government organization and widely volunteer-led organization that advocates for HIV awareness, testing and treatment. It also 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.
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