Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Resolution: HIV Testing



If you are thinking of starting the year by conquering your fear, taking care of yourself, loving yourself -- here's a great first step. Good news is that we're here to help! Click here!

We can still reverse this trend.

With 212 new HIV Ab sero-positive individuals confirmed by the STD/AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory (SACCL) in November 2011, the Philippines for the first time has breached the 2,000-mark in terms of its annual numbers. Only two years ago, in 2009, we were at a sub-1,000 mark.


We enjoin everyone to help as we, in Love Yourself, firmly believe that this outrageous growth rate can be arrested and reversed. We are doing our share, and we need everyone's help. Do you want to help? Register here.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Love Yourself and QCHD conduct free HIV counseling and testing

Volunteer HIV educators and counselors take a break
after a long day of work on Dec. 11, 2011. [Photo by: Ura Sevilla]


ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT individuals, after learning about it through social networking sites, blogs, and Facebook, voluntarily came to a special HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) event organized by the Love Yourself (VINN Advocacy) Group on December 11, 2011. The event was held in a private facility in West Avenue, Quezon City, in partnership with the Quezon City Health Department (QCHD).

The program provided an intensive STI and HIV/AIDS education session to all attendees. For those who signed the informed consent for testing, the mandated pre-test and post-test counseling were also done. A total of twenty-six (26) volunteer HIV counselors (trained and certified by the Department of Health), and HIV educators (trained by certified trainers of the Philippine National AIDS Council) helped in ensuring that the education and counseling were done according to set protocol.

The 108 HIV Ab test clients’ age ranged from 18 to 46 years. Out of the 108 clients, 99 were male and  9 were female.

As per DOH protocol, during the post-test counseling and release of the rapid HIV test result, all clients were given instructions, as follows:

The blood samples of the clients that turned out reactive shall be sent to the National Reference Laboratory-STD AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory / San Lazaro Hospital to undergo the confirmatory test. The QCHD will contact the client after two weeks and the results will be given. If confirmed positive, the client will undergo further laboratory tests, most importantly the CD4 level to determine the need for administration of anti-retroviral drugs. For all others that received non-reactive results for the test, they were reminded to consistently use the recommended HIV prevention practices, and take the voluntary HCT again after three to six months.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Free HIV Counseling and Testing on December 11






Ano: HIV Confidential Counseling and Testing – it’s FREE! Walang bayad!
Kailan: Sunday, 11 December 2011 (10am to 4pm)
Saan: Playroom – 35 West Avenue, Quezon City



Mga malimit na itanong:
1. Natatakot akong magpa-test. Anong gagawin ko?
Normal na kabahan o matakot ang mga taong nagpapa-HIV test. Kung hindi ka pa talaga ready, okay lang. Mayroon mga trained HIV educators at counselors doon sa event, at maaari mo silang i-konsulta. Hindi ka nila pipiliting magpa-test kung talagang ayaw mo. 
2. Magkano ang bayad para makasali dito?
Ang HIV counseling ay walang bayad, libre. Gayun din ang HIV testing, free of charge din. Kung mas nakaluluwag ka naman sa pera at gusto mong tumulong, taos pusong tatanggapin ng Love Yourself ang inyong donasyon, kahit magkano man.
3. Anong dapat kong dalhin?
Dalhin lamang ang sarili. Hindi ka hihingan ng anuman, kahit pa ng ID.
4. Blood test ito, kailangan ba akong mag-fasting?
Hindi kailangan mag-fasting. Walang bawal kainin o inumin bago magpa-test -- hindi ito makaka-apekto sa HIV test.
5. First time ko itong magpa-test. Ano ba ang mangyayari doon?
Napakabuti ng iyong desisyong magpa-test. Basahin ang sumusunod bilang gabay: What to expect during your HIV test.
6. Ako ay isang babae, tunay na babae. Puwede ba ako magpa-test?
Oo. Ano ka man, babae, lalake, o anuman, maaari kang sumali at magpa-test.
Iba pang katanungan? Email help@loveyourself.ph


Mapa:

View My Saved Places in a larger map

Something Beautiful



You are invited to join the LoveYourself Photoshoot Batch 4. They say a picture is worth a thousand words -- in this special charity photoshoot, it's worth a thousand pesos and a lot of love, for yourself and for a society we envision free from the scare of HIV/AIDS. Register here:http://theloveyourselfproject.blogspot.com/p/open-shoot-registration.html

The cute, sweet music for this ad is "Beautiful World" (originally written as a love song) by Adam Crossley. Listen to more of his great music here:http://www.myspace.com/adamcrossley

STI/HIV/AIDS Learning Session at Chevron




Love Yourself's Founding President Ronivin Pagtakhan and Director of Communications Chris Lagman led an STI/HIV/AIDS learning session among employees of Chevron at RCBC Plaza, Makati on December 7, 2011. It was organized and sponsored by Chevron's PRIDE organization in the Philippines.

After the two-part talk, peer educators and counselors Ivy Krystel Hapitan, Dexter Secosana, Neil Bryant Calizo, and Jedd Rommel conducted small group question-and-answer sessions to address specific queries among the attendees.

Monday, December 05, 2011

HIV & AIDS Registry, October 2011: 92% higher than same period last year.

In October 2011, there were 200 new HIV Ab sero-positive individuals confirmed by the STD/AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory (SACCL) and re- ported to the HIV and AIDS Registry. This was 92% higher compared to the same period last year (n=104 in 2010). Most of the cases (97%) were males. Males having sex with other Males (85%) were the predominant type of sexual transmission. Download the report here.


Know Your HIV Status on December 11, 2011


This Sunday, you have an opportunity to know your HIV status -- for free, in a private facility, among friendly and caring staff. December 11, 2011. Starts at 10 AM, ends at 4 PM. Details here.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

It's time.

It starts like a painless prick in the mind -- HIV? Me? Nah.

Then after a while, you remember those crazy times in the past. Yeah, you think, crazy but not too crazy as to put me at risk. Besides, the probability of getting it is too low. Malinis naman sila, I'm sure. You continue to attempt convincing yourself.

Time pass and you're most of the time successful in keeping those HIV thoughts at bay. Yet there were times, admit it, that the prick in the mind becomes a bit more intense. Did I really do it bareback? Can't remember na. May condom naman yata. Yata? Shit, can't remember na talaga

Now it's selective memory lapse. You think you were safe naman, most of the time, at the least. But you can't seem to get the doubt off your mind. Suddenly, you don't know, it is not clear if you really were safe.

Everytime you see those three letters HIV, there's a slight skip in your heartbeat, a little lump in your throat forming. I think I have it. Maybe I have it. What if I have it?

It's a creepy little bastard, because like a thief in the night, it blindsides you:  you have started to trim your life plans and water down your dreams to accommodate the assumption that, maybe, you think, you feel, you have it. It's a painless thought at first, a dull feeling after a while, but the longer you stay in the dark, the heavier it feels.

You busy yourself with stuff, with work, with parties, with anything that can fill your mind and keep it from focusing on HIV. Fuck that blog, now the only thing it talks about is HIV. You distract yourself to the hilt only to find a big white snorting elephant stuck in the meandering grooves of your brain. HIV, HIV, HIV, fuck

You search online for symptoms. Fever, flu-like symptoms, rashes, diarrhea, but not for all, sometimes none at all. Symptoms only when it has advanced to AIDS, when the body has given up, when the virus has totally taken over. Scary shit. You slam a closed fist on the table, why wasn't I careful kasi.

You consider getting yourself tested. You're scared like a little kid about to get spanked, closing your eyes before you hear the leather belt whip and welt your skin. 

You realize there is really no way out but through. If I don't have HIV and I'm suffering this way, fuck, I'm such a worry wart punishing myself for nothing. If I do have HIV and I'm standing here doing nothing about it, then I'm really just letting this foul-smelling fear immobilize me. Like committing the most gradual suicide by slicing myself up part-by-little-part.

Part of you triumphs saying, it's time. It's time to unload the baggage. It's time to use this energy, now in the form of fear, to propel myself forward.  It's time that I face that fear, ready to battle it tooth and nail.


* * *


Have you been thinking of getting tested? Perhaps you are not ready yet for testing but you want to talk to someone about it? Here's the event for you. First, you will find here friendly, professional, and well-trained HIV educators and counselors. And, secondly, the event is scheduled on a Sunday! And very importantly, it will be held in a private (not in a government clinic) and discreet location, for your own privacy and convenience.

What: HIV Confidential Counseling and Testing - it's FREE! No charge!
When: Sunday, 11 December 2011 (10am to 4pm)
Where: Playroom - 35 West Avenue, Quezon City

Some frequently asked questions (FAQs):
1. I am afraid to go for testing, I think I'm not ready yet. Can I still go and just talk to someone without getting myself tested?
Absolutely. There will be trained HIV educators and counselors there that you can talk to. They will respect your feelings, and if you feel you are not ready to go for your HIV testing, that's okay. There is value in just talking things out, so come. 
2. How much does it cost if I go to this event?
The HIV counseling is free of charge. The HIV testing is also free of charge. You do not need to pay for anything. Love Yourself is subsidizing the conduct of this event, and if you want to help by donating, you are free to do so. Otherwise, everything is free. 
3. What should I bring?
You are not required to bring anything. You will not be asked for an ID.
4. Since it will be a blood test, should I not eat anything before? Is there fasting involved?
It is a blood test, yes, but there are no prerequisites such as fasting or no-alcohol diet, etc. The test will look for HIV antibodies in your blood, and eating food or drinking anything will not affect the results.
5. This is my first HIV test. I do not know what will happen during the test. How will the HIV testing process go?
Congratulations for making the brave decision to take the test. Read the following: What to expect during your HIV test.
6. I’m a girl. May I go?
Of course. This event is open to all.
Other questions? Email help@loveyourself.ph

Location Map:


View My Saved Places in a larger map

How to get there:


From EDSA via MRT: alight at the North Edsa station. Take a jeepney towards the direction of Quiapo (via West Avenue). The venue will be on your right, about 2-3 km from SM North Edsa/Trinoma. It's along West Avenue, just before Mister Kebab.


From EDSA via bus: alight at the corner of Edsa and West Avenue. Take a jeepney towards the direction of Quiapo (via West Avenue). The venue will be on your right, about 2-3 km from SM North Edsa/Trinoma. It's along West Avenue, just before Mister Kebab.


From Espana or Quezon Avenue (Banawe, Sto. Domingo, Pantranco, etc.): take an FX or jeepney towards SM North/Trinoma. When you reach West Avenue, you will see Kowloon House West on your right, and very soon after, Mister Kabab on your left. The venue is on the side of Mister Kabab, the 2nd building after.

(The venue is inside a discreet building complex between Quezon Avenue and Del Monte Avenue. Between the restaurants 'Mister Kebab' and 'Mang Inasal'. The front of the building complex has an establishment called 'Renrich'.)

Friday, December 02, 2011

Celebrity Lovers Featured in PEP.ph


Go to the feature by clicking here.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Love Yourself Project Featured In Manila Bulletin

Featured at page G4 of Manila Bulletin on Nov. 30, 2011. (Click image below to enlarge.)


To read the article, you may go to http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/343105/the-love-yourself-project

Monday, November 28, 2011

Love Yourself Open Shoot on Dec. 18

The Love Yourself Open Shoot Part 4 is now scheduled on December 18, 2011. Register here!


You are invited to participate in Ian Felix Alquiros' fourth batch of the charity photoshoot for the benefit of The Love Yourself Project. All profit generated will be used in the training of new HIV counselors who will help and assist the youth and key population affected by HIV/AIDS. Photoshoot participants donate Php1,000 which entitle them to (1) one Love Yourself t-shirt or singlet; (2) grooming services for the shoot; and (3) one digital photo layout, in the style of "Love Yourself." They say a picture is worth a thousand words -- in this special charity photoshoot, it's worth a thousand pesos and a lot of love, for yourself and for a society we envision free from the scare of HIV/AIDS.


This photoshoot is open to all generous souls and beautiful people who have the heart to help. It will be on Sunday, December 18, 2011, from 12 NN to 8 PM, at #88 Panay Avenue, Quezon City [location map]. Get a priority shoot timeslot that's most convenient for you, register here.



Friday, November 25, 2011

Free HIV Counseling and Testing on Dec. 11



Have you been thinking of getting tested? Perhaps you are not ready yet for testing but you want to talk to someone about it? Here's the event for you. First, you will find here friendly, professional, and well-trained HIV educators and counselors. And, secondly, the event is scheduled on a Sunday! And very importantly, it will be held in a private (not in a government clinic) and discreet location, for your own privacy and convenience.

What: HIV Confidential Counseling and Testing - it's FREE! No charge!
When: Sunday, 11 December 2011 (10am to 4pm)
Where: Playroom - 35 West Avenue, Quezon City

Some frequently asked questions (FAQs):
1. I am afraid to go for testing, I think I'm not ready yet. Can I still go and just talk to someone without getting myself tested?
Absolutely. There will be trained HIV educators and counselors there that you can talk to. They will respect your feelings, and if you feel you are not ready to go for your HIV testing, that's okay. There is value in just talking things out, so come. 
2. How much does it cost if I go to this event?
The HIV counseling is free of charge. The HIV testing is also free of charge. You do not need to pay for anything. Love Yourself is subsidizing the conduct of this event, and if you want to help by donating, you are free to do so. Otherwise, everything is free. 
3. What should I bring?
You are not required to bring anything. You will not be asked for an ID.
4. Since it will be a blood test, should I not eat anything before? Is there fasting involved?
It is a blood test, yes, but there are no prerequisites such as fasting or no-alcohol diet, etc. The test will look for HIV antibodies in your blood, and eating food or drinking anything will not affect the results.
5. This is my first HIV test. I do not know what will happen during the test. How will the HIV testing process go?
Congratulations for making the brave decision to take the test. Read the following: What to expect during your HIV test.
6. I’m a girl. May I go?
Of course. This event is open to all.
Other questions? Email help@loveyourself.ph

Location Map:


View My Saved Places in a larger map

How to get there:


From EDSA via MRT: alight at the North Edsa station. Take a jeepney towards the direction of Quiapo (via West Avenue). The venue will be on your right, about 2-3 km from SM North Edsa/Trinoma. It's along West Avenue, just before Mister Kebab.


From EDSA via bus: alight at the corner of Edsa and West Avenue. Take a jeepney towards the direction of Quiapo (via West Avenue). The venue will be on your right, about 2-3 km from SM North Edsa/Trinoma. It's along West Avenue, just before Mister Kebab.


From Espana or Quezon Avenue (Banawe, Sto. Domingo, Pantranco, etc.): take an FX or jeepney towards SM North/Trinoma. When you reach West Avenue, you will see Kowloon House West on your right, and very soon after, Mister Kabab on your left. The venue is on the side of Mister Kabab, the 2nd building after.

(The venue is inside a discreet building complex between Quezon Avenue and Del Monte Avenue. Between the restaurants 'Mister Kebab' and 'Mang Inasal'. The front of the building complex has an establishment called 'Renrich'.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We'll be at Distrito Makati on Nov. 25



DISTRITO - the weekday lifestyle market located at the Amorsolo Open Parking lot (beside Makati Med) is opening on Nov 25 (Fri)! Enjoy great food, fun, and friends. Love Yourself folks will be there to sell shirts and singlets to raise funds to support education and counseling programs we provide for HIV affected youth and key population.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

On the Photoshoot Round 4

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: the Love Yourself Open Shoot 4th Round, originally scheduled this Sunday Nov.20, 2011, has been postponed to December (exact date TBD). We were not able to receive the ordered t-shirts from our supplier, and our current inventory has dried out due to unforeseen demand. Apologies to all for any inconvenience caused. We shall announce a new schedule in December within next week. Thank you for your understanding.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Balloon Game

As of Nov. 13, 2011, Love Yourself has 30 DOH-certifed HIV counselors and 52 trained educators/agents of change.

How do you bring them together in a fun but meaningful exercise?

We played the balloon game during the first ever Love Yourself General Assembly.  Here's a snippet of the experience.



Video by Ian Felix Alquiros, editing by Jedd Rommel.

The Limited Edition Love Yourself Singlet

Introducing the Limited Edition Love Yourself Singlet! Grab them during the Open shoot on Sunday, November 20, 2011. Details here.



Monday, November 07, 2011

Introducing the Love Yourself Cafe

Have you at one time or another wished you had a venue to talk about love and relationships among men without having to fear being laughed at or smirked on by judgmental trolls? Gay and bisexual men also, if not very frequently, think about how we can connect intimately or romantically to another person. And because of the stigma, many go underground, looking for love in chatrooms that, more often than not, offer a quick-fix, a band-aid solution to our deep, profound desire to connect. Given this, we have little to no chance of substantiating our thoughts on questions like:
How do I find a partner?
How do I deal with my insecurities?
Is monogamy for me? Or open relationships, perhaps?
What do I do when I fall in love with a straight man?
What is the importance of sex in a partnership?
What do I do, I’m afraid of being alone in my twilight years?

Now, imagine having a cozy, casual conversation among friends about these questions — open, friendly, funny, yet substantial and enriching. This is what the Love Yourself Cafe is all about. A safe space for casual conversations, on topics that dare, with people who care, to question and share.
The first-ever cafe event is happening on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011. The topic will be: Love & Relationships Among Men. It will be hosted by Migs the Manila Gay Guy and facilitated by the Fabcasters.
This is a private, by-invitation event that will happen at a discreet, secret location in Makati. If you are interested, request for an invitation via this link. Limited slots available.

Self-Efficacy Training for Agents of Change


On November 5-6, 2011, seventeen volunteers from The Love Yourself Project participated in the Self-Efficacy Training (SET) conducted by the Department of Health’s Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) at their Satellite Clinic in Leon Guinto, Malate, Manila.


The workshop is based on the principle that educators and counselors doing HIV advocacy work are essentially agents of change, and that the first essential step for one to be an effective agent of change is examining one’s own behaviors, attitude, and self-image. The SET enables the participants to (1) acquire motivation to embark on a personal behavioral assessment related to one’s susceptibility for contracting HIV; (2) learn knowledge and techniques related to changing one’s own behavior; and (3) come up with action plans to concretize the resolutions made during the training.


The training was facilitated by Dr. Rossana Ditangco, Head of the AIDS Research Group of RITM, and RIta Bantigue, Ph.D., Counseling Psychologist from De La Salle University and AVP/Head of Learning & Development at Meralco.

The Love Yourself Project Launches Assistance Program for People Newly Diagnosed With HIV

Ian Felix Alquiros, TLY Director of Education
and Counseling, explains the program details 
during the launch and press conference.
Pasig City, November 6, 2011 -- Love Yourself, a group of volunteer educators and counselors, together with the Mr. Gay World Organization and Ladlad Partylist, launched today the LAB (Laboratory Assistance Benefit) initiative, a new program to help people who are newly diagnosed with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The LAB initiative provides financial assistance specifically to pay for baseline laboratory tests that are required to initiate the lifelong treatment process for People Living with HIV (PLHIV).

According to the National Epidemiology Center of the Department of Health, the number of HIV cases in the Philippines continue to increase with unprecedented rates, now at 8 new confirmed cases per day. A critical strategy in decelerating the spread of HIV is to ensure that those who are diagnosed positive are immediately provided with appropriate treatment and care. One roadblock to treatment that HIV counselors have seen especially among the very young, newly diagnosed PLHIV is the lack of funds for their initial baseline laboratory tests.

“This one-time financial assistance may be considered small, but it can potentially save lives,” says Ian Felix Alquiros, Director of Education and Counseling for Love Yourself. The baseline laboratory tests are crucial in assessing the health of the newly diagnosed PLHIV. The tests give the health provider critical data used in determining initial treatment recommendations, and as such, can be considered the PLHIVʼs gateway to treatment. Many of these treatments and medicines can be accessed for free (e.g., anti-TB medicines, anti-retroviral drugs), provided that the PLHIV has undertaken the required baseline laboratory tests.

The LAB Initiative, together with the guidance from trained HIV counselors and educators of Love Yourself, enable and encourage newly diagnosed PLHIVs that are otherwise financially unable, to seek treatment, care, and support. The first three recipients of the assistance are PLHIV endorsed by Ladlad and volunteer HIV counselors of Love Yourself.

The Mr. Gay World Organization under its Red Ribbon Campaign is the first major sponsor for the LAB initiative.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Open Shoot Part 4!

More and more people are wanting to have their "Love Yourself" portraits! So we bring you: The Love Yourself Open Shoot -- Part 4!


You are invited to participate in Ian Felix Alquiros' fourth batch of the charity photoshoot for the benefit of The Love Yourself Project. All profit generated will be used in the training of new HIV counselors who will help and assist the youth and key population affected by HIV/AIDS. Photoshoot participants donate Php1,000 which entitle them to (1) one Love Yourself t-shirt or singlet; (2) grooming services for the shoot; and (3) one digital photo layout, in the style of "Love Yourself." They say a picture is worth a thousand words -- in this special charity photoshoot, it's worth a thousand pesos and a lot of love, for yourself and for a society we envision free from the scare of HIV/AIDS.


This photoshoot is open to all generous souls and beautiful people who have the heart to help. It will be on Sunday, November 20, 2011, from 12 NN to 9 PM, at #88 Panay Avenue, Quezon City [location map]. Get a priority shoot timeslot that's most convenient for you, register here.



Sunday, October 30, 2011

At the Black Party Manila 2011



Before the party started, a TV5 news crew interviewed us and asked this question:

"Why is The Love Yourself Project here at Black Party Manila?" 

 Good question, I thought. Bakit nga ba? 

 "We're here because the people here are the ones we want to reach out to. They are the ones who like having fun. And our message is this: Love Yourself! Some people think that to love one's self and to be safe means to be boring. We don't believe that. One can have fun, great fun, and at the same time take care of one's self. We're here to deliver that message -- but also, so we can have fun! We like having fun too! (We know the market, because we are the market!)"


* * *

We had a blast at the Black Party Manila 2011! Proof of that are these photos! 

To view: 
2. Like our page. 
3. Enjoy the photos. 

Enjoy everyone!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

See you at the Black Party Manila 2011

October 29, 2011 - Orosa/Nakpil, Malate, Manila. Be there in your black Love Yourself t-shirts! [Video by Jedd Rommel.]

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last Call for Volunteer HIV Counselors

This is the last call for volunteers who want to join The Love Yourself Project as HIV counselors. Last day of signing up is 24 October, Monday, 9 PM.
The National AIDS STI Prevention and Control Program of the Department of Health (DOH) and The Love Yourself Project are jointly opening up opportunities to train as HIV counselors. Selected candidates shall attend a 4-day HIV Counseling and Testing Training Program on November 5, 6, 12, and 13, 2011. This will be facilitated by Master HIV Counselors as endorsed by the DOH: Dr. Ethel Daño, Celestino Ramirez, Jason Encabo, Aureo De Castro and Mary Joy Morin. 
The training venue is to be determined (within Metro Manila).

Interested individuals who would like to become HIV Counselors, please fill out the Intent Form.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wanted: Ordinary People

Do you want to be part of The Love Yourself Project? Volunteer here. [Video credits: Jedd Rommel]

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cupcake League: the Volleyball Outreach

The Love Yourself team with Dr. Jon Fontilla (rightmost)

SEVEN volleyball teams competed fabulously at the Cupcake League held at the Dumlao Gym in Mandaluyong City on October 8, 2011. During the break before the announcement of the winners, Love Yourself folks had a chance to have a short talk with each team to introduce the assistance the group can provide to those who have questions on safe sex and HIV/AIDS. It was a brief but fun outreach! Sharing the photos here! (Special thanks to Jeoff Solas for leading the team, and to Dr. Jonathan Fontilla for making the outreach possible.)

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Love Yourself Open Shoot -- Part 3!

Due to many people asking for another chance, we bring you once again -- The Love Yourself Open Shoot -- Part 3!



You are invited to participate in Ian Felix Alquiros' third batch of the charity photoshoot for the benefit of The Love Yourself Project. All profit generated will be used in the training of new HIV counselors who will help and assist the youth and key population affected by HIV/AIDS. Photoshoot participants donate Php1,000 which entitle them to (1) one Love Yourself t-shirt; (2) grooming services for the shoot; and (3) one digital photo layout, in the style of "Love Yourself." They say a picture is worth a thousand words -- in this special charity photoshoot, it's worth a thousand pesos and a lot of love, for yourself and for a society we envision free from the scare of HIV/AIDS.

This photoshoot is open to all generous souls and beautiful people who have the heart to help. It will be on Sunday, October 16, 2011, from 12 NN to 9 PM, at #88 Panay Avenue, Quezon City [location map]. Get a priority shoot timeslot that's most convenient for you, register here.

Friday, October 07, 2011

HIV Counseling Training

Do you want to be an HIV counselor?

Given the explosive growth of HIV numbers that we're seeing now, analysts forecast that by 2015, there will be 45,000 people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the Philippines. While we shall do our best to arrest this growth by increased awareness and education, we also believe that we need to increase our capacity to assist people to change behavior (from high risk to low or no risk),  and to cope with their transition in case they are diagnosed as HIV positive. In short, we need more HIV counselors.

The National AIDS STI Prevention and Control Program of the Department of Health (DOH) and The Love Yourself Project are jointly opening up opportunities to train as HIV counselors. Selected candidates shall attend a 4-day HIV Counseling and Testing Training Program on November 5, 6, 12, and 13, 2011. This will be facilitated by Master HIV Counselors as endorsed by the DOH: Dr. Ethel Daño, Celestino Ramirez, Jason Encabo, Aureo De Castro and Mary Joy Morin. The training venue is to be determined (within Metro Manila).

Interested individuals who would like to become HIV Counselors, please fill out the Intent Form.


Sunday, October 02, 2011

Janvier and Zyruz: Lovers of The Love Yourself Project



Actors Janvier Daily and Zyruz Imperial join the Lovers' League, supporters of The Love Yourself Project (TLYP).

Do you want to join activities of TLYP? Check out our Calendar of Activities.

Talk to a counselor.


Scared that you might have HIV? Too much, that you can't even go for your HIV test? 

Perhaps you just need to talk it over with an HIV counselor. No pressure to go for testing. Sometimes, it helps just to let it out.

Email an HIV counselor at help@loveyourself.ph

Monday, September 26, 2011

Assessing Your Risk

Answer the following questions below. If you answer yes in any one below, then you might have a risk of getting HIV or any sexually transmitted infection (STI).

1. Do I engage in unprotected sexual intercourse with more than one partner?
2. Does my partner have multiple sexual partners?
3. Do I or my partner have signs or symptoms referring to a possible STI?
4. Do I engage in drug use, sharing of needles or syringes?
5. Does my partner engage in drug use, sharing of needles or syringes?
6. Have I or my partner undergone any blood transfusion/organ transplant?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Use condoms to prevent spread of HIV." - Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI said men and women can use condoms to prevent the spread of HIV.

Pope Benedict has clarified his recent landmark statement — that the use of condoms is sometimes morally justifiable to stop the spread of AIDS — by saying that the declaration was meant to cover women and transsexuals, and not just men.

The acknowledgement is being seen as a major shift in church policy. The Vatican has said for decades that condoms were not part of the answer to fighting AIDS.

The Vatican now says using a condom is a less evil than transmitting HIV to a sexual partner even it means a woman could avoid a possible pregnancy.

Read more.

Friday, September 23, 2011

TV Guesting: Sapul Sa Singko (Sept. 23, 2011)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Photoshoot for a Cause



What: The Love Yourself Charity Photoshoot (Part 2!)
When: September 24, 2011 - Saturday - 12nn-10pm
Where: The Room, G/F Crowne 88 Condominium, #88 Panay Ave., Barangay South Triangle, Quezon City.
Registration link: http://theloveyourselfproject.blogspot.com/p/open-shoot-registration.html

It's the much-awaited follow-up to the explosively successful first charity photoshoot for The Love Yourself Project by Ian Felix Alquiros. This Saturday na, and it's open to all -- girls, boys, men, women, gays, lesbians, transgenders, or whatever label you use. Tara na! It's fun, and at the same time, you help the provision of free assistance, counseling, and education to the youth and key population affected by HIV/AIDS in the Philippines. Photoshoot for a cause ito. Wanna join? REGISTER HERE! Read on for details.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Be a Peer Educator for the Love Yourself Project!

We are announcing the availability of volunteer opportunities as Peer Educator for the Love Yourself Project (TLYP). Requirements are as follows:
  1. The heart to help: all TLYP volunteers have the genuine heart to help, regardless of personal benefit or remuneration.
  2. Actual experience or observable potential for skill acquisition related to teaching, facilitating, or training.
  3. Commitment to being part of the Peer Educator Pool for at least 1 year.
If you are interested, we would like to invite you to register as a potential Peer Educator here.

Registration ends September 30, 2011, or when all slots are filled up, whichever comes earlier.

Selected candidates will undergo a 3-day Peer Educator workshop on October 8, 9, and 15, 2011. Below is the brief description of the workshop. Details will be sent to selected candidates.

A Peer Educator is first and foremost a peer -- he is the same and equal with his audience. As such, he is able to easily relate to his audienceʼs specific circumstances, to intimately understand their challenges, and therefore more effectively facilitate not only learning but, more importantly, the application of such learning. In short, a peer educator is a very effective instrument to inspire, initiate and encourage behavior change among members of his audience. This workshop enables one to be a Peer Educator. In this workshop, one learns the following: (1) the fundamental body of knowledge on the topic of STIs and HIV/AIDS; (2) issues faced by people who are most at risk to be affected by HIV/AIDS ; (3) facilitation and teaching skills to effectively deliver a learning session among peers. A critical goal of this workshop is to raise the self-awareness of its attendees so as to rid themselves of prejudices that stand in the way of being a true peer to his audience.

Monday, September 12, 2011

911: An HIV Confidential Counseling and Testing Event

Event organizers and volunteers posing for a souvenir photo
after a whole day of work -- tired but happy!



QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES -- On September 11, 2011 the Love Yourself (VINN Advocacy) group, a not-for-profit organization focused on HIV prevention among the youth and LGBT-MSM (Men who have Sex with Men), in association with Quezon City Health Department (QCHD), held their 2nd quarter advocacy project, “911: An HIV Confidential Counseling and Testing Event” at 35 West Avenue, Quezon City. The event was undertaken together with volunteers from Quezon City Health Department (QCHD),  Take The Test, AIDS Society of the Philippines and representatives from SaMACKA. The event was able to serve a total of 89 clients from 10am to 6pm on that day. 

The program promoted voluntary testing option to the 89 clients, and all of them signed the informed consent form to take the HIV Confidential Counseling and Testing. Of the 89 clients that were counseled and tested, 81 were male, 4  were female, and 4 were transgender. The 89 individuals ranged from 18 to 48 years old. 

As per DOH protocol, during the post-test counseling and release of the rapid HIV test result, all the clients were given instructions:

The blood samples of the clients that turned out to be reactive will be sent to National Reference Laboratory-STD AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory / San Lazaro Hospital to undergo an HIV confirmatory test. The Quezon City Health Department (QCHD) will contact the client after two weeks and the results will be given. If confirmed positive, the client will undergo further laboratory tests, most importantly the CD4 level to determine the need for administration of anti-retroviral drugs.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Free HIV Confidential Counseling and Testing on Sunday, 9/11

What: HIV Confidential Counseling and Testing - it's FREE! No charge!
When: Sunday, 11 September 2011 (10am to 5pm)
Where: Playroom - 35 West Avenue, Quezon City
Location Map:

How to get there:


From EDSA via MRT: alight at the North Edsa station. Take a jeepney towards the direction of Quiapo (via West Avenue). The venue will be on your right, about 2-3 km from SM North Edsa/Trinoma. It's along West Avenue, just before Mister Kebab.


From EDSA via bus: alight at the corner of Edsa and West Avenue. Take a jeepney towards the direction of Quiapo (via West Avenue). The venue will be on your right, about 2-3 km from SM North Edsa/Trinoma. It's along West Avenue, just before Mister Kebab.


From Espana or Quezon Avenue (Banawe, Sto. Domingo, Pantranco, etc.): take an FX or jeepney towards SM North/Trinoma. When you reach West Avenue, you will see Kowloon House West on your right, and very soon after, Mister Kabab on your left. The venue is on the side of Mister Kabab, the 2nd building after.

(The venue is inside a discreet building complex between Quezon Avenue and Del Monte Avenue. Between the restaurants 'Mister Kebab' and 'Mang Inasal'. The front of the building complex has establishments such as 'Slice n' Dice' and 'Don Esteban'.)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A viral kind of love

Manila Bulletin, September 6, 2011. Wellness Section, Page C5.
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/333342/a-viral-kind-love