Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pancho Magno Flexes His Biceps for HIV Testing

by Michael Jamias

Pancho Magno has a body built for adoration.

Fans worship every inch of this six-foot-tall Bench fashion show model and My Husband’s Lover supporting star: From his intense eyes and razor-sharp jaw line, to those bulging arms and that luscious Moreno complexion.

What’s the secret to Pancho’s irresistible sex appeal? He treats his body like a sacred object, nourishing it with rigid workouts, a healthy wheat bread diet and a large dose of self-respect.

Pancho, who happens to be straight, shares that any guy can get the same sexy confidence by learning to love himself. And it can begin with something as simple as taking a free HIV test.

In the poster above, a wet and torso-baring Pancho represents the LoveYourself ideal --- the attractive and adventurous man ready to take on the world after knowing his HIV status.

All Filipino men should get tested, according to Pancho, and feel empowered by it:

“Please get tested. Loving yourself is not just physical. It’s everything – emotional and health-wise. HIV testing is also not only for yourself, but also for your partner,” says Pancho.

Visit go.loveyourself.ph/HIVtest to schedule your free, confidential and discreet HIV test.

Pancho is the latest model ambassador for Project Indulge, a LoveYourself campaign to spread awareness for and encourage HIV testing among men who have sex with men or MSM population, considered one of the most vulnerable to contracting the virus.

The campaign is a collaboration with award-winning advertising agency Campaigns & Grey and top-ranked photographer Jeanne Young. Previous celebrity models include Manhunt International 2012 winner June Macasaet, Philippine Volcanoes rugby flanker Kit Guerra, Mr. Gay World Philippines 2012 Carlito Rosalindo, Jr., and TV5 celebrity chef Jeremy Favia.

LoveYourself has provided thousands of sexually-active Filipinos with free HIV testing and counseling through its Malate-based LoveYourself Hub. Demand for LoveYourself's HIV testing services has grown exponentially, so it plans to build a second center called LoveYourself Anglo along Shaw Boulevard near EDSA. Visit go.loveyourself.ph/anglo to help Pancho and LoveYourself spread the message of self-love and acceptance.

(Inset photo credit: Bench Body)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Free, Confidential HIV Testing in Makati City, Metro Manila

Been thinking of getting tested for HIV? We're all systems go for the QUICKIE event-- a free, confidential HIV testing event exclusively for men, happening this Friday, 20 September 2013, at the Makati Friendship Suites, Makati City, Metro Manila.

Quickie Questions:

Q: How much is the test?
A: It's free!

Q: Do I need to bring anything?
A: Just yourself, and you're good to go!

Q: Since it is a blood test, do I need to fast?
A: No need to fast, come as you are.

Q: I drank alcohol the previous night, will it affect the results?
A: No, drinking alcohol will not affect the results.

Q: I'm quite embarrassed to be seen taking the test. Will there be many people there?
A: The organizers have been doing HIV test events since 2011. In fact, more than 6,000 people have gone through the HIV tests facilitated by Love Yourself, and so we know the sensitivities of some people. We do the best we can to address such fears and concerns.

Q: How do I get to the venue?
A: We have a detailed set of information on this, please click here.

For more information, you may want to read the other FAQs in this post.

If you want to be sent an email or SMS text regarding this event, kindly register at http://go.loveyourself.ph/quickie

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Is HIV Karma’s Payback? The Case of Rapist Richard Thomas

by Michael Paolo Telan Jamias

Many find it impossible to sympathize with Richard Thomas, the 27-year-old British man who knowingly raped a sick woman who turned out to be HIV-positive.

Thomas reportedly “collapsed in terror” when the police revealed that the victim was living with the virus, and the public has seemingly rejoiced in his predicament:

“Hope he catches the virus. That would serve him right.”

“Karma at it’s best.” (sic)

“Now that’s justice!”

A flood of these comments came in even as Thomas possibly faces a hard road ahead living with HIV, and the possible onset of AIDS plus other deadly complications. (His results from HIV exposure come out in a week.)

Commenters believe Thomas deserved contracting the HIV as punishment for his brutality. He admitted to binging on alcohol and drugs, according to news reports, before breaking into the sleeping woman’s home. He penetrated her until she woke up helpless from the ongoing assault.

We understand the thirst for justice, and wish the victim the strength to recover from the rape trauma and the will to live on despite living with HIV.

But there’s a dangerous idea brewing from this Thomas backlash: That getting infected with HIV is a punishment, a curse, a death sentence for any and all sins committed.

Thousands of Filipinos living with HIV discover their status in our LoveYourself free HIV testing hub, and they should dispel this notion of karmic retaliation.

HIV is not karma’s payback.

Sure, they may have been exposed as students lured into the pleasures of first love and sex. As druggies trying to keep up with their clique. As yuppies tempted into an orgy after a stressful workweek. Or as partners cornered into a sexually open relationship.

Filipinos living with HIV already torment themselves replaying these "mistakes" every day. By not perpetuating the idea of HIV as punishment, we gift people living with HIV a life-saving reprieve. We give them encouragement to believe that they are still valuable human beings, and not monsters like Richard Thomas whom the world believe deserves the dark retribution of HIV.

LoveYourself champions a message of positivity to help people living with HIV become strong and empowered members of the community. They need our positive encouragement to tap into their inner #light and find hope even in the grimmest of circumstances, to unconditionally give and accept #love, and to strive to become #worthy agents of change that give back to the community.

Learn more about LoveYourself, and help support our drive to build LoveYourself Anglo, a new free HIV testing hub soon to rise on Shaw Blvd. in Mandaluyong.

("Karma" photo by Cose666 via Flickr.)