There’s nothing taboo about this.
Growing up in a conservative country like the Philippines, we’re taught that anything related to sex is a taboo. In a country where the mention of anything related to sex is greeted either with giggles or motions to hush, there’s no wonder that sexual matters are difficult to discuss.
The reality is that the number of new HIV cases in the Philippines has significantly increased over the past few years. Which is to say, not good news at all. Instead of dousing the fire, the oh-so-innocent and pabebe attitudes towards sex have only served to make the situation much worse by scaring people from getting the treatment that they might need.
Pia Wurtzbach, UNAIDs Goodwill Ambassador for Asia, is seeking to change that with her new advocacy projects. Pia is the newly-launched ambassador of Love Gala, an event that will honor individuals who greatly influenced the domestic and global movement towards the HIV and AIDS advocacy.
Speaking with Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano and Congresswoman Pia Cayetano, the former Miss Universe also launched an awareness campaign called the PIA project in Taguig City. PIA stands for Project Progressive Information Awareness campaign, will focus on spreading information on HIV, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGIE) and promoting self-worth among the youth.
After undergoing a live HIV test in front of the cameras, she discussed why getting tested is important. Aside from finding out whether or not you need treatment, doing so also helps to show others that HIV testing should be a normal part of their health and wellness routines, too.
Not many people know that they can avail of free and confidential HIV testing, counseling, and treatment in the Philippines. This is possible through the efforts of the Department of Health and the Loveyourself project, a project by the NGO LoveYourself Inc.
For more information, visit www.loveyourself.ph.