Monday, November 18, 2019

KYS‌ ‌and‌ ‌Play‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌Basics‌ ‌of‌ ‌HIV‌ ‌Rapid‌ ‌Testing‌

By Ronald Bugarin

All the world’s a stage and you are the performers!  The stage is set for the National HIV Testing Day themed KYS (Know Your Status) and Play in partnership with Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) on November 23, 2019 from 11:00am to 7:00pm. LoveYourself has joined forces with more than ten (10) Community Based Organizations (CBOs) nationwide for you to experience fast, free, and confidential HIV testing in a fraction of the time.

Sign up now for a fast, free and anonymous HIV screening.


#KYSandPlay marks the eighth community-led multi-site  National HIV testing event spearheaded by LoveYourself, beginning with Incognito in May 2016. This is part of LoveYourself's efforts to make HIV screening easier and more accessible to more Filipinos,  together with other CBO’s in the nation. By promoting timely HIV testing as a regular part of one’s self-care routine, more Filipinos can take charge of their sexual health.

This National HIV Screening Day is perfect for people on the go!  In just 15 to 20 minutes, rapid screening shortens the processing time compared to regular testing  and assures 100% accuracy for nonreactive results! These rapid test kits can even detect HIV 1 and 2 antibodies with only  a few drops of blood.

What exactly should you expect to happen during a rapid screening setup at #KYSandPlay? First, you register at the  front desk where a unique identifier code (UIC) will be given based on a few personal information as well as generated client number with QR code upon successful registration which shall be scanned per station to guide you throughout the process.


After registration, you can proceed to the laboratory section for blood extraction. No worries here as only a pinprick with a newly opened sterilized lancet will be used as a sample. Compared to the regular screening where a bigger needle is used and a syringe full of blood is extracted, in rapid screening set-up, the needle to be used is much smaller and only a drop of blood is needed to run the test.  Afraid it’ll hurt? Well don’t fret as our Volunteers will be gentle with you in getting a sample of your blood. Once the sample is dropped onto the kit, a reagent is added to activate it. Results will be ready to read in 15 to 20 minutes.

While waiting for the results, our tireless volunteers will facilitate an engaging discussion about the screening process, basics of HIV transmission, and sexual health management. After which, a trained change agent or counselor shall conduct risk assessment prior to the release of result. This private individual session with a counselor is the best time to raise questions and concerns related to HIV.


When results are ready, your counselor or life coach will then explain to you whether you are reactive or nonreactive. When you test nonreactive, your counselor will emphasize how you can have safer and satisfying sex with your current sexual practices, and you can be on your way home! It is important to note that this process does not give you a printed copy of your results for anonymity and confidentiality purposes. If you prefer or need a physical copy then you can visit LoveYourself Uni or Anglo on another day after the HIV Testing Event to avail of the standard testing process during regular clinic operations.

When results are reactive, your Life Coach assures you that you won't have to go through this alone. They will be on hand to guide you through the treatment process including the requirements needed prior to enrollment to a treatment center as well as health management for newly diagnosed Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) It is essential to get yourself treated immediately with a treatment center of your convenience to protect you from possible infections.


All discussions with our counselors and life coaches, especially the results, will be kept confidential. So what are you waiting for, register now at bitly.com/KYSandPlay2019 to get tested, Know Your Status (KYS) and break the stigma.

To learn more about rapid screening assay testing kits and its accuracy, click on this link.
_________________________________________________________
Ron is a true blooded Banker who does events and hosting on the side. He has volunteered at LoveYourself because of his former partner was diagnosed as PLHIV.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Theater Actors for National HIV Testing Day on World AIDS Day

By LoveYourself Communications

MANILA – In celebration of the World AIDS Day on December 1, LoveYourself, Inc. and the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), together with 10 community-based organizations nationwide, will conduct a national HIV testing day on November 23, 2019.


Dubbed as “Know Your Status (KYS) and Play or #KYSandPlay2019, this national HIV testing day entails a free, fast and confidential HIV test at 19 test locations nationwide for registrants to this link: bit.ly/KYSandPlay2019

This collaboration with PETA aims to strengthen the awareness campaigns of community-based organizations through highlighting the #ActingOnHIV drive of the theater institution. Theater performers are the primary ambassadors for the #KYSandPlay2019, namely: Topper Fabregas, Jimi Marquez, Gio Gahol, Gerhard Krysstopher, Iji Ampil, Eko Baquial, Chamyto Aguedan, Bene Manaois, Dylan Talon, Rhenwyn Gabalonzo, Lygie Carillo, Cheeno Macaraig, Carlon Josol, Mico Esquivel, Miguel Almendras, Jarred Jaicten, and Ian Segarra.

Fabregas relayed, “It's so important to have HIV represented in theater, hopefully in all art platforms. I remember when we did Normal Heart, you'll be surprised at how so much people don't know [about HIV].”

Relatedly, Marquez explained, “When you're getting tested, it's a win-win situation if you think about it. If you're negative, you know you're practicing safe sex correctly. If you're positive, then you get to know what to do next.”

Gahol said, “There is strength in knowing the changes you need to face, to make good of whatever your status is. Know your status and you get to choose your next step. If we let fear take over, we allow the virus to choose for us.”

Based on the Department of Health (DOH) report, there are around 1,111 newly confirmed cases of HIV cases July alone. 51% of the cases were aged 25-34 years old, followed by 31%of ages between 15-24.
There will be five test locations in the National Capital Region – (1) LoveYourself Anglo in Mandaluyong, (2) LoveYourself Uni and (3) Victoria by LoveYourself in Pasay, Lily by LoveYourself x DIOSSA in Parañaque, and (5) LoveYourself Welcome in Manila.
For Luzon, there will be four sites, including (1) Hero by LoveYourself in Bacoor and (2) Aves Love and Light in Brgy. Bayan Luma 4 in Imus, Cavite, (3) Lakan Community Center in Brgy. Lakandula in Mabalacat, Pampanga, and (4) Amos Tara in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
In the Visayas region, there are seven testing areas – (1) LoveYourself White House along Llorente street in Capitol Site, Cebu City, (2) Atma Prema Community Center in Banilad, Cebu City, (3) Watever KTV in Lapu-Lapu, (4) Sunflower KTV in Parkmall, Mandaue, (5) Barangay Poblacion Park in Talisay, and (6) Rajah Community Center in Brgy. Maria Clara, Iloilo City, and (7) kNOwTell Health and Wellness Lounge in Robinsons Place, Iloilo City.
Meanwhile, Mindanao region has three testing centers, namely, (1) Oro Pia Community Center in Cagayan de Oro, (2) #36 Loyola St., Bo. Obrero, Poblacion District in Davao, and (3) Mujer.Community Center in Brgy. Tetuan, Zamboanga.
#KYSandPlay2019 is the fifth of its kind HIV testing movement from various community organizations that is supported by Pilipinas Shell Foundation Incorporated, and AIDS Healthcare Foundation. 
The community-based organizations that join forces for this movement are Aves Love and Light, Bangaw Federation, Bisdak Pride, Decent Image of South Signal Association (DIOSSA), Family Planning Organization of the Philippines – Iloilo Chapter, Juan Positive Movement, Kagay-an PLUS, LoveYourself, Inc., Mujer-LGBT Organization, Olympus Society of Davao, and Project H4 (Health. Help. Hope. Happiness).

Monday, October 28, 2019

Self-KYS and Play this November 23, 2019

By Ronald Bugarin

Are you ready to take on one of the most critically acclaimed roles in your life? No costumes, no scripts—just yourself, a test kit, and at least 15 minutes of self-care realness.

LoveYourself partners with the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) to bring you  #KYSandPlay National HIV Testing Day  on Saturday, November 23, 2019 across LoveYourself community centers and participating community-based organizations nationwide.


Talented and multi-awarded actors from PETA will take a break from singing and acting as they step on the role of being HIV testing ambassadors, helping out in shining the spotlight on how important it is to Know Your Status (KYS), as well as promoting HIV awareness through education and counseling. 

This event carries on the success of the Hot Nurses of ‘Pinas nationwide testing event held in June of this year, where over 600 clients experienced free and confidential HIV screening and counseling nationwide. The efficiency of eliminating wait time (results are ready in 15 to 20 minutes) and the convenience of making it available across key cities all over the country make #KYSandPlay the HIV testing event no one should miss.


Catch your favorite actors team up with our volunteers at various #KYSandPlay venues from 11 am to 7 pm in Metro Manila (LoveYourself clinics in Anglo in Mandaluyong, Uni and Victoria by LoveYourself in Pasay, Welcome in Quezon City, and Lily by LoveYourself in Parañaque), Luzon (Hero by LoveYourself in Bacoor, Cavite, AVES Love and Light in Imus, Cavite, Lakan Community Center in Mabalacat, Pampanga, and Amos Tara in Puerto Princesa, Palawan), Visayas (LoveYourself White House and Atma Prema Community Center in Cebu City, Cebu, Bangaw Federation in Talisay, Cebu, LoveYourself venues in Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue City, Cebu, and Rajah Community Center and kNOwTELL Health and Wellness Lounge in Iloilo City), and Mindanao (Olympus Society of Davao in Davao City*, Oro Pia Community Center in Cagayan de Oro, and Mujer LGBT Organization in Zamboanga City).

Take the first step and sign-up for the event here: bitly.com/KYSandPlay2019.

*Venue is open from 1 pm to 12 am
_________________________________________________________

Ron is a true blooded Banker who does events and hosting on the side. He has volunteered at LoveYourself because of his former partner was diagnosed as PLHIV

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

5 Condom Myths We Should All Stop Believing

By LoveYourself Communications

The Triangle of Self-Care gives you three simple steps to prevent HIV transmission. Alongside timely testing and treatment and safe and satisfying sex,  one of its key components is correct and consistent use of condoms and lubes.

Condoms are the most accessible contraceptive and protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the market. Especially with innovations such as Safe Spaces PH condoms and lubricants are discreetly accessed for free. However, there are still lingering stories that are passed from on person to another creating myths that continue to live on. 

Let’s make things clearer by busting some myths!



Myth #1: Condoms are not effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies or HIV/STIs

If you’re thinking that viruses and sperm cells are way too small and can pass through condoms, then you’ve must have been misinformed.

Although they’re microscopic, both viruses and sperm can’t pass through intact latex condoms.

Condoms are the only contraceptive that can prevent unwanted pregnancy and, at the same time, protect against HIV and most STIs.



Myth #2: Condoms are more likely to break than to work

This is FALSE. Condom manufacturers are strictly regulated. They’re electronically tested individually to ensure that no damaged condoms reach the consumers.

Also, condoms only break if they’re improperly stored and incorrectly used. It can have tears and other damages if you store it in wrong places like your wallet or pocket, or open the pack using scissors or your teeth.

Some people say to use two condoms at a time as reinforced security, but this only increases risk as the friction between the two latex materials makes it easier to tear. So hold on to your spare one’s for the next few rounds.

If you take time to know and follow the proper way of using them every time you have vaginal, oral and anal sex, the more effective you make them.



Myth #3: Condoms are too small for my longgadog

Two words: It isn’t. Condoms are made from rubber, which means they are more flexible than your average job hunter. They also come in different sizes to fit different girths.

They are also tested for their elasticity, so even if it’s longer than 13.5 inches, it won’t break that easily.

Even if it looks a bit too big or too small on the pack, once you use it, you’ll see that it fits and sheathes your longgadog.


Myth #4: Buying condoms is embarrassing

Condoms are made for adults, much like how we weren’t embarrassed by buying lollipops or paper dolls as a kid, there’s no shame in buying things that are made for you. Also, buying condoms are part of being a responsible person who cares about their own and their partner’s sexual health. If anything, you should be glad about buying a condom.

So, go out there, brave heart, and buy yourself a box or two.



Myth #5: Condoms reduce pleasure

It may be true back in the old days, but not anymore. Technology has advanced and so have condoms. There are a lot of options for every fantasy you and your partner would want to live.

Condoms now offer varieties that can enhance sexual experience, different scents to mask out the natural latex smell, different textures to increase, pleasure and even some that are so thin, you’ll forget you’re wearing one.

Also, you can assure yourself that manufacturers are still brewing up more improved versions of what they currently have today, so look forward to the future of condoms!

These myths might be debunked, but I know you won’t be convinced until you try them out first-hand. Try PREMIERE Condoms – they have eight different variants, including a glow-in-the-dark one that can light up your nights.

They’re available from your favorite go-to convenience stores near you. Or if you’re feeling a little lazy, you can order them online on your trusted e-retailers. With DKT



SOURCES:



Monday, October 14, 2019

Gazini Ganados Champions HIV Advocacy in Cebu

By LoveYourself Cebu Communications





TALISAY CITY, CEBU - Miss Universe-Philippines 2019 Gazini Ganados, together with LoveYourself Inc. and the City Government of Talisay, champions the HIV advocacy in Cebu in an outreach program held on Saturday - October 12 at the People’s Hall of the city.

During the event, Ganados was unveiled as the newest ambassador of LoveYourself, adding the cause to her initial “elderly care” advocacy. She also headlines the HIV awareness and prevention forum, together with the free HIV screening for the day. The outreach was also in cooperation with Youth for Better Talisay, and Talisay City LGBT Bangaw Federation.

Vice Mayor Alan G. Bucao lauded the initiative. “I am so happy that LoveYourself has given their trust in us, the City of Talisay and Talisay City LGBT Bangaw, in extending their advocacy on HIV awareness and prevention. I am looking forward to a more fruitful partnership with LoveYourself and Bangaw in this worthy cause.”

Ganados now serves as the newest face of LoveYourself in Cebu for various HIV awareness campaigns and programs. She is a welcome addition to the string of international beauty queens supporting LoveYourself’s advocacy, including Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.

The latest data from the Department of Health -Epidemiology Bureau (DOH-EB) shows that the Philippines now poses 35 cases of HIV a day. Central Visayas is ranked 4th highest in the number of HIV cases since the epidemic broke in the 1980s.

“We are seeing infection cases increase, but the bright side to this is that we can bridge them to proper treatment as soon as possible. We always inform our clients that there’s life after the diagnosis. People living with HIV can still enjoy and live their lives to the fullest,” LoveYourself Cebu Head Jan Estrada stressed.

Capping her day, the Cebuana beauty queen visited the LoveYourself White House, a community center located along Don Julio Llorente Street near the Fuente Circle in Cebu City. The center offers a safe co-working space, where one can have a free and confidential HIV screening and treatment, enjoy a cup of coffee, play board games and study, among others. It is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

LoveYourself Inc. is a community-based organization that offers a free and holistic care approach to HIV. Aside from the White House, it has six operating community centers in the Greater Manila Area, namely Anglo in Mandaluyong, Uni and Victoria in Pasay, Welcome in the City of Manila, Lily in Parañaque, and Hero in Bacoor City in Cavite.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

This adult shop just released the FIRST EVER LOVE TOY COMMERCIAL IN THE PHILIPPINES

LoveYourself commits itself to normalize the conversation surrounding sex, HIV testing, and living with HIV. Through its many campaigns, it has empowered thousands of people to take charge of their sexual health and rethink how they view sex. One brand in 2019 is following suit in destigmatizing sex in the Philippines.


Lauvette may be the newest love toy shop in the market, but with its active and game-changing branding, it is now the fastest-growing and the leading Philippine love toy shop on social media. On September 6, 2019, Lauvette released the first-ever love toy commercial in the country. Now being aired in Metro Manila Grab Cars and taxis via Transitflix and also in all LoveYourself community centers.
When asked why they decided to produce the commercial, Renz Rollorata, co-founder of Lauvette said, “It's about time to extend our marketing efforts into producing our very first commercial. This is our bold step in showing that we are in a mission of eliminating the stigma surrounding the sex toy industry. Love toys should not be hidden and shamed, they can be freely showcased in a normal yet enjoyable manner, just like any other consumer goods." 
Lauvette is doing its share in contributing to expanding the sexual maturity of the Filipino people. With commercials like this, we don't only give attention to sexual health, but we also emphasize the importance of self-love and self-care.



Manuel Schuster, co-founder of Lauvete, expressed his excitement for what’s in store in the future. “Launching the first-ever love toy commercial in the Philippines is a great milestone for Lauvette. We launched our online shop just four months ago and I am so amazed at the progress our team is making. I am just very excited for what's ahead," Schuster said. 
It’s interesting to follow how this brand will continue to grow in the coming years and how it will shape Filipinos’ attitude towards sex. But hopefully, with the existence of self-aware and socially involved love toy shop like Lauvette leading the way, normalizing sex in the country may not be too far off.

Watch the video of Lauvette's commercial here:


Visit www.lauvette.ph today to get your first love toy while supporting the HIV advocacy!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Anytime Fitness Cebu Inks Partnership with SafeSpacesPH

By LoveYourself Cebu Communications



You can now get free condoms and water-based lubricants from all Anytime Fitness Cebu branches starting October this year. This is after they signed a partnership with SafeSpacesPH.

The Memorandum of Agreement was signed by Anytime Fitness Cebu’s Area Managers Lloyd Comeling and Sheila Subang.

Under the agreement, SafeSpacesPH will set up “condoment stations” in all their branches in Metro Cebu. These stations offer free condoms and water-based lubricants. Anyone can access these condoment stations from the four Anytime Fitness branches— Cebu IT Park, Cebu Business Park, Escario, and Oakridge in Mandaue.










The "neighborhood 24-hour gym" is already a partner in Metro Manila. Now, they are SafeSpacesPH’s first partner in the Visayas.

"Condom use remains to be the most effective way to prevent the transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). We can stop spreading the virus by making it more accessible for everyone without judgment when they buy it from stores. We need more establishments like Anytime Fitness, and we are working to add more to the list," Robin Avorque, the Program Officer for SafeSpacesPH, stressed.

SafeSpacesPH is a program by LoveYourself Inc in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH). It is designed to provide young professionals access to free condoms and lubes through partnering with establishments who promote safe sex.

You can download the SafeSpacesPH app from Google Playstore or App Store for free to get a list of SafeSpaces Partner establishments near you.

Business establishments wanting to partner with SafeSpacesPH may contact Robin Avorque at robin.avorque@loveyourself.ph.