Sunday, December 02, 2018

HIV Test Gone Viral for World AIDS Day

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Pinoy influencers take the internet to raise awareness on HIV testing for the World AIDS Day on December 1.

Model-actor Sebastian Castro and Mr. Gay World 2017 John Raspado join Taking It campaign, which is TestXXX and LoveYourself’s first-ever online guerilla campaign collaboration that boldly challenges an individual to take an HIV test.

The campaign aims to reduce the number of new HIV infections in the ASEAN region and reduce stigma around HIV testing. The Manila-leg had a simultaneous run in Bangkok, Thailand and Jakarta, Indonesia.



Castro said “I’ve been tested several times for HIV with friends from LoveYourself. They’re professional, accessible and easy to talk to.”


As an advocate for HIV awareness, Castro highlighted that HIV is not a death sentence. He mentioned that effective treatment is available which enables persons living with HIV to have fulfilling lives.

“We aim for early detection to control the spread of HIV. As a matter of health, it would be great if this could be a medical routine for more people,” Castro further explained.

Other internet sensations like Vinzon Leojay Booc known as Lady Gagita and radio anchor and blogger M.A. Buendia also posted online videos encouraging their followers to take the test.
“We are trying different approaches to HIV care and support in order to meet the 90-90-90 goal of UNAIDS, where 90% of HIV infection are diagnosed, 90% are bridged to treatment and 90% are undetectable levels or the viral level is at the lowest and suppressed,” LoveYourself founder and executive director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan.


Pagtakhan underscored, “We will not also stop intensifying our campaigns until HIV testing is viewed as a regular medical routine taken by anyone, particularly Pinoys around the world.”
TestXXX is an HIV testing campaign funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation through APCOM. In 2017, LoveYourself implemented the TestMNL or the country’s localized version of testXXX’s campaign.

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For details, please contact:
RAYBERT D. DOMINGO
Deputy Communications Head (Volunteer)
E: media@loveyourself.ph; rdomingo@loveyourself.ph
M: 09065840250

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Tony Labrusca, JC and Catriona Kiss AIDS Goodbye

By Bet Domingo


Actors Tony Labrusca and JC Santos are this year’s faces of #KissAIDSGoodbye — a first-ever billboard campaign for HIV awareness — along with Miss Universe-Philippines 2018 Catriona Gray, in time for the World AIDS Day 2018 celebration.

Individuals who wish to avail of free HIV education, screening, testing and treatment, which is the campaign’s purpose, are encouraged to visit www.testmeforhiv.com for further details.

Primarily, the #KissAIDSGoodbye campaign on billboard augments HIV awareness, especially on testing, as a means to stop the AIDS epidemic.


This campaign is powered by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Inc., an international HIV awareness group which partners with the leading local organizations, The LoveYourself, Inc. and the Project Headshot Clinic – The Red Whistle. The campaign also draws support from the Department of Health – National Capital Region office, Philippine National AIDS Council and Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc.

According to LoveYourself founder and executive director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan, “The only way to #KissAIDSGoodbye is by early detection, which can be done through timely testing and early treatment.”

“This is the first-ever HIV awareness campaign in the Philippines on billboards, which practically aims to erase the stigma about HIV and its related health services by putting our message on the mainstream media in order to normalize the discussion about the topic.”


The billboards for #KissAIDSGoodbye are located at EDSA Cubao South, C5 Libis, Shaw Blvd., Belson, Lawton, Robinson’s Galleria, EDSA Boni, EDSA Harvard and Makati Arnaiz.

Based on the September data from the DOH, there are 32 incidences of HIV diagnosis daily in the country. 

In the same month, a total of 954 new HIV cases were reported. Twenty-eight percent (28%) of these newly reported HIV cases or 266 persons were from the National Capital Region (NCR).

Being celebrated every December 1, the WAD is a commemoration for all the strides made to eradicate the HIV epidemic and for those who have lost their lives due to HIV related complications.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Prepare for #HotDoctorsofPinas! Community-Based HIV Screening

By Ronald Bugarin

Summer just came in November as the Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas amped up the heat for this upcoming national HIV screening day on November 24, [2018] from 11:00am to 7:00pm. LoveYourself has partnered with more than ten (10) Community Based Organizations (CBOs) nationwide for you to experience private, secure, and accurate HIV testing in a fraction of the time and have a chance to chat with some of the Hot Doctors in the country.

Visit www.bitly.com/HotDoctorsPinas to sign up for a fast, free and anonymous HIV screening.


#HotDoctorsofPinas marks the sixth Community-Based Screening (CBS) event held by LoveYourself, beginning with Incognito in May 2016. These testing events are the organization’s efforts to reach out to more people for HIV testing, especially the youth. People who can’t come to the clinics who may have not gotten tested because of several factors—issues regarding their location, work schedule, lifestyle, even those who are uncomfortable to submit to screening due to stigma or lack of information— are offered a convenient alternative that maintains high standards of discretion, efficiency, confidentiality, and accuracy.

LoveYourself pioneered a fast and efficient HIV testing structure through CBS. In just 15 to 20 minutes, CBS shortens processing time compared to regular testing but assures accuracy of results with the use of immunochromatic assay kits. These rapid test kits, which look similar to pregnancy kits, only require a few drops of blood as sample.


What exactly should you expect to happen during a CBS setup at #HotDoctorsofPinas? First, each client is assigned a unique identifier code (UIC) and only contact information must be provided upon registration. Personal Information forms are not required to be accomplished.

After the registration, client shall proceed to the laboratory section for blood extraction. No worries here as only a pinprick using a sterilized lancet is enough to be used as a sample. Once blood is dropped onto the kit, a reagent is added to activate it. Results will then be read within 15 to 20 minutes.

While waiting for the results, our Hot Doctors will facilitate an engaging discussion about the screening process, basics of HIV and AIDS, 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.


It is important to note that with this method, you are both tested for HIV 1 and 2 but won’t be given a printed copy of your results for anonymity and confidentiality purposes. If you prefer to have printed copies of your result, just visit LoveYourself Uni or Anglo to avail of the standard testing process during regular clinic operations.  Similarly, if your results from CBS turn out to be reactive for either or both HIV 1 and 2, it is recommended that treatment through our resident doctor be started even while waiting for confirmatory results from San Lazaro Hospital.

All discussions with our counselors, especially the results, will be kept confidential.  So what are you waiting for, register now at www.bitly.com/HotDoctorsPinas to get tested, know your status and break the stigma.

To learn more about CBS assay testing kits and its accuracy, click on this link.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

‘Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas’ to storm the Philippines on HIV National Testing Day

By Bert and Bet Domingo


MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Sexy and gorgeous physicians and dentists will storm the Philippines as LoveYourself Inc. and nine other non-government organizations bring you “Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas” on the national HIV testing day, November 24 (Saturday).

Interested individuals who wish to get tested for free are encouraged to signify their intention to join the mass testing in 14 locations nationwide through the event’s official sign-up sheet www.bitly.com/HotDoctorsPinas.

Participating #HotDoctors include Francis Dale Acenas,Francis Allanigue, Alyer Alestante, Jasper Nuel Dayanan, Peter Roe Prado Delizo, Wilbur Jan Robert Demafiles, Jose Danilo Diestro, Nagatoshi Ebisawa, Patrick Castillo Eustaquio, Kristoffer Flores, Rafael Fortus, John Kenneth Gacula, Austine Gawaran, Aldin Inocencio, Tristan Jediah Labitad, Mark Lawrence Lagac, Rommil Mano Longno, Michael Angelo Marquez, Roger Mission Jr., Jay Mark Ong, Davidson Pastrana, John Nico Ronquillo, Hanz Sandoval, Luigi Pierre Segundo, Andrew Siazon and Cyriel Anthony Tingne. 
“Celebrating self-care has never been this sizzling. No apple can keep the ‘Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas’ away as we celebrate the country’s second community-based, multi-site national HIV testing day,” LoveYourself Inc., founder and executive director Ronivin Pagtakhan said. 
Pagtakhan said that the national HIV testing day, which will start at 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, is a joint project of the LoveYourself Inc. and the Juan Posi+ive Movement; HIV & AIDS Support House, Inc. (HASH); DIOSSA Taguig; and the Project H4. 
He said that the Kagay-an PLUS-Preserving Life, Uniting Society Inc.; Olympus Society Davao, Inc.; Cavite Positive Action group – The JCH Advocacy Inc.; AVES Love and Light; and Mujer-LGBT Organization will also join the mass testing.

“Celebrate the freedom that comes with the courage to know your status. It’s free and confidential,” he said.
The “Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas” are “IN” at LoveYourself’s HIV hubs in Mandaluyong City (3/F of Anglo Building, No. 715-A Shaw Boulevard) and in Pasay City (2/F LM Building 2028 Taft Avenue Extension) and (2/F Torres Building 2442 Park Ave.). 
Sizzling hot doctors are also spotted at the newly opened LoveYourself hub at the intersection between Manila and Quezon City along 858 Blumentritt Road and Remedios Street, just a few steps away from “Welcome Rotonda.”
The doctors are also available at No. 98 Pineda Building Manalac Ave., across Waltermart Bicutan, Parañaque City. 
Outside metropolis, the voluptuous doctors will also invade Mabalacat, Pampanga at 104-B Roxas Street, Brgy. Lakandula; Imus Cavite along Lumina Mall E. corner Nueno Ave.; and Bacoor City at rooms 7 and 8, EMA Building Km. 17 Aguinaldo Highway. 
For Puerto Princesa residents, catch the doctors at No. 41 Abad Santos St., in Barangay Masipag; LoveYourself Whitehouse in Cebu City; and at 2F Dulalia Blg. Rizal St. Bgy. Maria Clara, City Proper in Iloilo City. In Davao, hot doctors will be at No. 36 Loyola St., Bo. Obrero, Poblacion District.
They are also available at KPlus Champion Lounge, Gates 2 and 3, Nuevas Bldg., 8th to 21st St., Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City; and Valderoza St. Centro Latino, Paseo del Mar Zamboanga City.

This LoveYourself program is supported by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. as well as MACARE Laboratories.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Pia and Catriona Join Forces to Hack HIV for the World AIDS Day

By Bet Domingo
THE HACKERS: LoveYourself volunteers, beauty queens, the doctors and the media are all united for one cause during the Hacking HIV 2.0 last Saturday (17 November) at the PETA Theater in New Manila, Quezon City. (PHOTO BY: Aya Tantiangco)

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach and Miss Universe-Philippines 2018 Catriona Elisa Gray join leading HIV advocacy group – LoveYourself, Inc. – in eradicating the epidemic with Hacking HIV 2.0 media event on 17 November (Saturday) at the PETA Theater.

The Hacking HIV 2.0 entails the unveiling of four new HIV programs. First of which is the establishment of three new community centers, namely LoveYourself Welcome in Manila near Welcome Rotonda, Lily by LoveYourself x DIOSSA in Parañaque City, and LoveYourself White House in Cebu City.

“These new community centers will enable us to reach more people for our HIV-related services,” LoveYourself Senior Director Christopher Lagman said.

Photo by Joma Ragrario
Beauty queen-ambassador turned volunteer, Gray introduces a pioneering HIV service called SelfCare. It is a HIV self-screening process that caters to people who want to have their HIV screening by themselves at their own convenient time and with utmost privacy.

“We offer this alternative option to address the concerns of the people who are willing to take the test, but are not able to do so due to fear and stigma attached to HIV testing. We initiated this move, so we would be able to bring the service to them and help them know their status,” Gray said.

On the other hand, LoveYourself is also the power behind the national HIV testing day on the 24th of November dubbed as “Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas.” According to LoveYourself founder and executive director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan, the Hot Doctors of Pinas will provide HIV101 during the testing day and interested individuals should register at this link: bitly.com/HotDoctorsPinas.

Photo by Joma Ragrario
“We started the mass testing campaign in 2011 where LoveYourself was still starting with one site only, and we are now holding this kind of activity twice annually. This time, we are collaborating with various community-based organizations providing HIV services to expand the program to different locations across the country,” Pagtakhan underlined.

The Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas sites in Metro Manila (i.e., Manila/Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Parañaque, Pasay and Taguig) and in cities in different provinces (Luzon: Bacoor and Imus in Cavite Mabalacat in Pampanga, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Visayas: Cebu and Iloilo, Mindanao: Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Zamboanga).

BEAUTY WITH A CAUSE: Miss Universe 2015 and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for the Asia-Pacific Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach and Miss Universe- Philippines 2018 and LoveYourself volunteer Catriona Gray strike a pose not to model a brand, but to be the model for the community in hacking and sacking the HIV to termination in a press event for four LoveYourself new programs. Photo by Joma Ragrario
Finally, world-renowned HIV advocacy ambassador, Wurtzbach launches the 2019 Love Gala and Ripple Awards. These are LoveYourself’s twin events that gather together advocates and supporters of the global HIV movement to magnify and mainstream the cause.

“We’ve started Love Gala in 2017 during the World AIDS Day commemoration, and recognized leaders and front movers in the HIV advocacy during the Ripple Awards. In the love month next year, we will do it again to inspire more people to rally for the cause,” Wurtzbach explained.

Wurtzbach has been LoveYourself’s biggest ambassador during her stint as Miss Universe 2015.

Love Gala/Ripple Awards will take place on 23 February 2019 at One Esplanade in SM MOA Complex in Pasay City.