#BoomPatest: Are You Heeding the Bang of MSM’s Hunger Games?

#BoomPatest: Are You Heeding the Bang of MSM’s Hunger Games?


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is probably one of the best novels that parallels the violent quality of life of the LGBT community. Loud bangs from the cannon imply the death of a tribute during the games. I imaginarily play those noises in my head like the clamors I hear during the death of an HIV/AIDS victim. Are you next?


photo credit: KendraMillerPhotography via photopin cc


It’s such a harsh reality that gay men must accept: as of October 2013, 491 HIV/AIDS cases have been detected in the Philippines, which is 66% higher compared to the same month of the previous year. And out of these numbers, there are 461 males and 86% of those numbers came from males having sex with other males (MSM).



Lately, I have been seeing posts from my friends on FB sending condolences to acquaintances (most of them young bisexuals and gays) because of very unlikely and untimely death. To my curiosity, I always checked the comments to find out what the causes might be. Most comments are euphemisms and somewhat a kind of “pahapyaw” about HIV/AIDS and you know for a fact that they died because of it. It is not related to any vehicular accident or because of old age. It is because of a sudden sickness that left them with no choice but to die young.


It’s alarming, I know. And every condolence sent to these AIDS victims is a constant reminder that we are in a Hunger Games’ arena where, from time to time, deafening bangs from cannons will be heard as each “tribute” for this disease dies without a “weapon” from the cornucopia. Paralleling the cornucopia in our present society is a constant reminder by the government and those private citizens who are advocates of HIV/AIDS awareness.


In the Philippines, Loveyourself Inc. is one of the leading HIV advocates for the Youth and LGBT-MSM that reach out to others to propagate ideas, attitudes, and practices that encourage loving oneself — to DARE to be oneself, to CARE for oneself, and to SHARE oneself as a way to multiplying joy.


And this June 29, Loveyourself Inc., with its Batch Ascend, will pioneer an HIV mass testing for men at Victoria Court Malate starting 9AM-4PM.


Here are three reasons why you should consider going to this event (especially if you are a sexually active member of the MSM community):


1. Knowing your status is acknowledging your self-worth.

You don’t need to be HIV positive to support such a cause. You just need to be human. And by being aware of your HIV status, you can either continue to live a life free from impediments by being “negative” or mark a new life with a new perspective and deeper self-worth by living positively amidst being “positive.” Either way, you can create real ripples of positive change in the community.


2. It’s free and confidential.

The usual cost of an HIV test usually ranges between P300 to P1,500 depending on the clinic. With TLY’s #BoomPatest initiative, though, people who would like to get tested can do so for free. Aside from saving money, you can also be sure of the result’s confidentiality. You can even get proper counseling with the trained volunteers of TLY afterward if you want.


3. Hope for the epidemic to stop..soon.

The #BoomPatest project is not just an initiative made by socially aware youth and LGBT-MSM professionals and supporters, but also by you. Its success will lie in the number of people who attend the event and get their status checked. Unfortunately, the road towards the eradication of these venereal infections is still long and winding. Fortunately, with the baby steps that we are all making, though, we are already halfway there. And maybe, just maybe, we can all make a difference.




I wonder how long it will take for the LGBT community to be freed from this kind of arena or at least be alleviated from the mushy quicksand of HIV/AIDS?


We are not controlled by a government like the tributes of The Hunger Games were and we are not obliged to volunteer to be in the “games” like Katniss Everdeen did. We are on our own in this battle. We are given the choice and information about the “game” that we will be in. I hope that one day, I will no longer read continuous condolences of not having lived life to the fullest because of HIV/AIDS. I hope and pray that we will die because of old age. I hope to live in a society that’s alive with young and seasoned LGBT coloring rainbows there and everywhere. I hope and pray that the lost lives be a lesson that any one of us can be “tributes.” And that we can stop or avoid the cannons from banging for good.

 Heed the call when in Manila. Heed the call now. Visit go.loveyourself.ph/boompatest to register.


Do you have any suggestions or feedback? Best way to contact us is via email. Our email address is info@loveyourself.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/LoveYourself-VINN-advocacy/203931672980584

Brought to you by TLY’s Batch Ascend.

#BoomPatest: Are You Heeding the Bang of MSM’s Hunger Games?

Joemar Belleza
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About Joemar Belleza 358 Articles
Joemar is the Blogger-In-Chief of BaklaPoAko.Com. He is currently a graduate student in University of the Philippines Open University. He also studied at Maquillage Professionnel School of Makeup Artistry and School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFA). He is a bold advocate of education, environment and LGBT issues. An earner, dreamer and a lover. Before he was once a dream-sprouting seed. Now he's a tree in his renaissance and will always be evergreen. Hear him speak with his intelligent guide for gay news of the Philippines and worldwide, Bakla Po Ako. Confirmed!. Follow him on Twitter @belleza_joemar. Gay it forward!