Thursday, December 24, 2015

Harana Chapter 10: Love Yourself


Past Harana Chapters:

   * Chapter 4

   * Chapter 5

   * Chapter 6

   * Chapter 7
   * Chapter 8



Harana Chapter 10: Love Yourself


Ilang buwan din ang nakalipas ng kilig, tampuhan at pagpapadama ng kanilang pagmamahalan. Kaya tuwing nakakasama ni Ash si Trey ay ibang kilig ang kanyang nararamdaman. Kilig na ngayon lamang n’ya naramdaman sa buong buhay n’ya.

“Dalawang buwan na tayo, pero parang kada araw ay parang unang araw na nakasama kita at narinig sa’yo ang salitang I Love You,” ani Ash.

“I won’t get tired of loving and saying these words to you, Ash. I love you!” sambit ni Trey habang aakma ng isang nakaw na halik.

“By the way baby boy, we will be performing again next week. Hope to see you there.”

“Oo naman, wala pa naman akong na-miss na gig mo di ba?”.

“Yeah, but sometimes I feel you just want to go there because I wanted you to be there,” kunwaring pagtatampo ni Trey.

“Minsan kasi baby nararamdaman ko na habang sumisikat ka… Hmmmm….dumadami ang gustong magpakuha sa’yo ng litrato, at mga babae at lalake na tumitili sayo. Minsan eh...syempre, naiinis din ako,” nahihiyang paghinga ng saloobin  ni Ash.
“Nagseselos ba ang baby ko?” paglalambing ng binata sa kasintahan.

“Hindi ako nagseselos noh! Nagtataka lang ako, tinatanong ko ang sarili ko kung tama ba ito or okay lang na itago natin ‘to,” hindi mawari ang mukha ni Ash habang sinasambit ang mga salita.

“Baby, pasensya ka na ha. Sana naiintindihan mo kung bakit kailangan muna nating itago ito,” sabi ni Trey habang hinahanap sa kanyang isipan ang mga susunod na salitang sasabihin. “Hmmmm....Hindi pa kasi ako handa. Hindi ko pa alam kung ano ang dapat kong gawin at sabihin,” napabuntong-hininga na lang si Trey pagkatapos bitawan ang mga salita.

“Naintindihan kita Trey. Naguguluhan lang din ako. Pero ang importante naman sa akin ay ikaw Trey,” pagbibigay suporta ni Ash.

Napapaisip at nalilito pa rin si Trey paminsan-minsan sa kung ano ba talaga s’ya. Pero isa lamang ang alam n’ya ngayon, mahal na mahal n’ya si Ash.

“Mahal kita, Trey,” lalong pagbigay ni Ash ng assurance sa minamahal.

“I love you too, Ash!”

~~~

Halos isang linggo na buhat nang matapos ang huling gig ni Trey. Ngunit sa isang linggong ito ay pabalik-balik ang trangkasong nararamdaman ni Ash. Labis namang ikinabahala ni Ash ang mga nararamdaman n’yang sakit.

Tumawag si Ceres upang kumustahin ang kaibigan. “Hey, Ash! How are you? Kamusta?”

“Okay naman ako Ceres. I feel better now.”

“Nako Ash, you better be careful ha. Drink a lot of water. Also, get yourself checked. Baka hindi na simpleng trangkaso yan. You know, uso Dengue, or baka naman HIV na yan.”

“Saglit, ano?!! HIV?!! Ikaw talaga Ceres kung anu-anong pinagsasasabi mo.”

“Just kidding about HIV though. But seriously, go to the doctor na ha, if you’re still not feeling better. Okay?”

“Yes, pupunta na ako sa doctor kung hindi pa ako gumaling. Thanks Ceres.”

Pagkababa ni Ash ng telelpono ay s’ya namang simula ng pagkagambala at pagkatuliro niya. Dahil ito sa pagkakarinig n’ya ng salitang HIV. Hindi n’ya maintindihan ang kanyang nararamdaman. Maraming pumasok sa isip n’ya -- takot, pangamba, galit at pagsisisi sa sarili, with the thought of the what ifs of having HIV.

“Paano kung may'ron nga akong HIV? Ano kayang gagawin ko? Anong sasabihin nila sa akin? Anong gagawin ni Trey? Saan ko naman ‘to makukuha?” ang blankong mga tanong ni Ash sa sarili.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Harana Chapter 9: Pasko Na Sinta Ko

Past Harana Chapters:

Harana Chapter 9: Pasko Na Sinta Ko

Teka. Teka lang!” sigaw ni Trey kay Ash, pagkatapos nya itong itulak palayo. Hindi sya makapaniwala sa nangyari.


“What on earth?!”


Sinampal-sampal ni Ash ang sarili nya na parang ginigising ang sarili mula sa kaniyang napagtantong isa na namang panaginip. Hindi naman napigilan ni Trey ang matawa sa ginagawa ni Ash.


“Sigurado akong panaginip na naman to!” sabi ni ash na parang nababaliw.


“E diba nga nung nag-away tayo, you tried to kiss me. Now that I finally gave you what you wanted, you say this?Alam ni Trey na nagpapa-cute lang itong si Ash na namumula na sa hiya.


“You dont have to try to be cute, because you already are.”


“Trey, kung ikaw, pumunta ka dito para pagtripan na naman ako...” ani Ash.


“And you think I’d drive a thousand miles para lang pagtripan ka? I maybe an asshole but I’m not that stupid you weirdo!” At saka lumakad na si Trey, pabalik sa kung nasaan ang pamilya ni Ash.


Hindi napigilan ni Ash ang mangiti nang sobrang laki habang nakatalikod si Trey sa kanya. Kumabog-kabog na naman ang dibdib nya kagaya nang unang beses nyang nakita si Trey na kumakanta sa entablado.


Hindi nya inakalang kaya pala nyang ngumiti nang ganoong kalaki.


~~~


Center of attention si Trey habang naghahapunan sila ng pamilya ni Ash. Tuwang-tuwa ang nanay at tatay ni Ash sa bisita nilang galing Maynila, at dahil sanay si Trey sa role na ‘yon, game na game naman syang sumagot sa mga tanong nila.

Pero kung kumportable na si Trey,  si Ash naman hindi mapakali sa pagkakaupo. Ni hindi sya makasulyap kay Trey na ganadong-ganado sa pagkain ng nilutong tinola ni Lola Mercy. Ulam ‘yon na hinahanda lang ng lola nya kapag may espesyal na bisita.             


“Wala kayong probinsya iho?” magiliw na tanong kay Trey ng nanay ni Ash.


“Wala po. My parents are both from Manila.”


“Ang sabi mo, music major ka. Magaling ka kumanta?” tanong naman ni Lynlyn na may kislap pa sa mga mata. Kahit hindi nya sabihin ay crush nya ang kaibigan ng kuya nyang si Ash.


“May banda ako. Ready Aim Fire po ang pangalan ng band namin. When you come to Manila, I’d introduce you to them.” sagot naman ni Trey.


“Naku nagbabanda ka pala. E di madami kang chicks sa Maynila. Ganon kasi ang mga nagbabanda hindi ba?” usisa ng tatay ni Ash na may tonong nangangaral.”Baka naman iniimpluwensyahan mo ang anak ko sa mga ganyan.”


Natawa lang si Trey at napatingin sya kay Ash.


“Umm... marami po. Pero kasi, taken na po ako.”


Napalunok si Ash nang sobrang tindi sa sinabi ni Trey, halos parang nalunok na nya ang sarili nyang lalamunan!


“Alam mo ba, ngayon lang may kaibigan si Ash na ipinakilala nya samin. Buti nakadalaw ka at tamang-tama ang punta mo dahil masaya ang pasko dito sa amin.” sabi ng nanay ni Ash para ibahin lang ang takbo ng usapan.


“Baka po kasi ngayon lang nagkaroon ng kaibigan si Ash! You know your son, he’s kinda weird.”


Tawanan ang lahat sa mesa. Si Ash lang ang hindi natawa.


“Alam mo kasi ‘yang apo ko na ‘yan, gusto nyang laging mag-isa. Bata pa lang ganon na. Malamang espesyal ka sa kanya para dalhin ka pa nya rito s’amin.”
Dito na nagsalita si Ash. “Hindi ko po sya dinala ‘la. Kusa po syang pumunta rito.”


“Kasi po, kung ako’y hindi special sa kanya, sya po’y special s’akin”, sabat ni Trey.


“Wala akong sinabing hindi ka special sakin.”


“Then what are you saying?” tugon ni Trey na medyo may taas na ng boses.


“Wala. Nagulat lang ako na nandito ka.”


“Do you want me to leave? Fine, I’d leave.”


“Wala akong sinasabing umalis ka.”


“So sinasabi mong mag-stay ako?”


“Wala din akong sinasabing mag-stay ka. Desisyon mo yan. Kung gusto mong umalis, umalis ka. Kung gusto mong magstay, magstay ka. Nay, tay, pasensya na po kayo kay Trey ha, ganyan lang po talaga magsalita yan. Parang senyorito.”


Natahimik ang lahat sa naging palitan nina Ash at Trey. Dinig na dinig ang mga kuliglig sa paligid. Nabasag lang ang katahimikan nang tumawa ang lola ni Ash.


“Ganyang ganyan kami ng lolo mo Ash kapag nagtatalo kami! Talo nyo pang dalawa ang mag-asawa!”


~~~


Dumating si Ash sa kwarto sa tabi ng imbakan ng palay kung saan matutulog si Trey.  Pagdating nya doon, pinapakain ni Trey ng tira-tirang tinola si Estrella Monella.


“Medyo luma na tong mga kumot namin Trey ha, pagpasensyahan mo na.”


“Thanks” mabilis na sagot ni Trey na may astang nagtatampo. Tumalikod na si Ash kay Trey, pero humabol ng salita sa kanya si Trey.


“Umm... Ash. Are you mad that I’m here?”
Napaisip si Ash ng isasagot. “Hindi naman. Hindi lang ako sanay.”


“E di masanay ka na. Coz I’m not gonna leave you. No matter how irritating you’d get.” Wala lang kay Trey ang sinabi nya pero para kay Ash, yon na ata ang pinaka-sweet na sinabi sa kanya ng kahit na sino.


“Why do you still hate me Ash? I already said I’m sorry, didn’t I?”


“I don’t hate you Trey. Ano lang e, ayoko lang munang maniwala.”


“I love you, Ash.”


Yung laging napapanuod ni Ash na mga eksena sa mga paborito nyang teleserye, totoo pala ‘yon. Parang huminto ang puso nya sa pagtibok, at umikot ang buong paligid. Alam nyang nandoon lang sila sa may kamalig pero parang bigla silang nalipat sa ibang daigdig.


“Naririnig mo ba ang sarili mo Trey? Baka nagkakamali ka lang. Diba hindi ka bakla?”


Hindi ‘yon ang inasahang sagot ni Trey mula kay Ash. Kahit si Esrtrella Monella na tahimik na nanunuod sa usapan nila, parang naintindihan ang sinabi ni Ash at napa-miao sya nang malakas.


“O e di bakla na kung bakla! Ok na? Mahal kita. Why does it matter to you what I call myself Ash, when what only matters to me is that I am in love with you?” Kahit si Trey, nagulat sa sinabi nya, pero naging honest lang naman sya.


“Akin na nga ‘yang kumot. Bukas aalis na ko.” sabay hablot ni Trey sa kumot na dala ni Ash.


“Hindi ka ba hinahanap sa inyo? Bisperas na ng pasko bukas.”


“Wala silang pakialam s’akin. Kagaya mo. Goodnight.” At saka tumalikod na si Trey kay Ash, pumasok sa kulambo at tinakluban ang sarili nya ng kumot.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

PrEP Talk

By: Jayson Celeste


You possibly might have heard about Pre-exposure Propahylaxis (PrEP) by now. It definitely has been creating some buzz in certain circles:  in fact it was mentioned in the first episode of season two of the series, “How to Get Away with Murder”. However, if it's your first time to hear of PrEP and what it means, then we invite you to read on.
So what is PrEP?
PrEP has been described as a promising biomedical intervention for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection, and Truvada (combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine) is currently the most common type of medicine used for PreP.

Prescription is started before possible exposure to HIV, hence the name “pre-exposure”. It's pretty much like a contraceptive pill: as contraceptives keep the person taking it from getting pregnant unintentionally, PrEP keeps HIV infections at bay. Also, another important thing to note that is common to both contraceptives and PrEP is that their effectivity only depends on conscientious intake of the pill – that is, it is taken on a daily basis.
PrEP vs. PEP
PrEP is not a vaccine and is different from PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis), where the medication is taken immediately after exposure to HIV and is continued only for 28 days. PrEP requires a commitment to regularly take the drug daily for a sustained period of time. Intermittent intake of the drug reduces its effectiveness.
Why is PrEP important?
While the rest of the world is reporting decreasing number of new infections, the Philippines is one of the few countries to have bucked this trend. In October  2015 alone, the HIV/AIDS & ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP) reported 651 newly diagnosed HIV cases, a significant increase from the same period last year (537 cases), and in 2013 (491).
Condom use has long been the primary HIV prevention tool, although its reliability is not absolute. There is a slight chance of ineffectiveness with using condoms due to a variety of reasons including breakage, slipping off, and leakage. In this light, PrEP is seen as a powerful supplement for HIV prevention.
The introduction of PrEP as a new preventative tool, along with consistent condom use, will hopefully help in tempering these increasing statistics.
Is PrEP Effective?
Several clinical researches on PrEP have shown that consistent use of the pill lowers the risk of HIV infection for up to 92% compared to those who didn’t use the pill. Using PrEP while practicing safe sex (i.e. proper use of condoms, lubricant, and safe sex practices) has been proven by studies to significantly lower the risk of HIV infection. Conversely, taking PrEP is not an excuse to resort to risky behavior. PrEP does not guarantee 100% protection from HIV infections, and offers no protection from other STIs. Again, the efficacy of the drug is intertwined with safer sex practices.
Use of PrEP requires regular tests for HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), which coincides with the schedule for prescription refills and regular check-ups.
Are there any side effects?
PrEP such as Truvada can cause short-term side effects including nausea, tiredness, gastrointestinal symptoms and headache, for one out of ten people using it on their first week of using the drugs. Long-term effects include possible liver and/or kidney problems.
These known and published side effects should be taken with a grain of salt, and in which case, you should consult your physician so that your other health conditions will be carefully taken into consideration. Consultation with the right specialist will enable you to manage your health problems effectively.
Shoud I take PrEP?
While PrEP will surely lower the risk of HIV infection in high-risk sectors of the population, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States lists down the following as most in need of taking PrEP:
  • People who are in an ongoing relationship with an HIV-positive partner.
  • People who are not in a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who recently tested negative for HIV.
  • People who have had unprotected sex with a person of unknown HIV status and who are in high risk of getting the infection (e.g. needle users or bisexual male partners)
  • Gay or bisexual males who have had unprotected sex or have been diagnosed with HIV in the past 6 months*
  • People who have taken illicit drugs that are administered through needles in the past 6 months* and or have shared needles
One should take note that these criteria are specific to the American setting. We have included this list primarily to give an idea who are the groups who should be taking PrEP. As PrEP is yet to be introduced into the Philippines, the qualifiers (e.g. 6 months window for needle usage and STD diagnosis) and the high priority groups are yet to be determined by the designated national government agency.
While no one is particularly prohibited from taking PrEP, what has been identified above are most-at-risk sectors of the population who will most greatly benefit from regular intake of PrEP insofar as HIV infection risk reduction is concerned.
How long do I have to take PrEP before it becomes effective?
Scientists are yet to issue conclusive results on how long PrEP attains its maximum effectiveness, but studies reveal that if taken everyday, it reaches its peak of protection in 20 days in the blood, in 7 days in rectal tissue, and 20 days in vaginal tissue. However, we would like to reiterate again that these studies are not final figures, and one should not use this time frame as an excuse to resort to risky behavior.
Where can I get PrEP?



PrEP will be available in the Philippines sometime in 2016. Also, intake of PrEP should not be done without proper consultation and counseling with professional medical practitioners. For now, the nearest country where the treatment available is Thailand. In Bangkok, one can head to the Anonymous Clinic of the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre to receive the treatment.
For the meanwhile, while we wait for PrEP to be introduced into the Filipino setting, we invite everyone to understand and practice the Triangle of Self-Care, which will be essential in HIV prevention, with or without PrEP:
T: Timely Testing and Treatment
S: Safe and Satisfying Sex
C: Correct and Consistent Use of Condoms with Water-Based lubricant

Friday, December 11, 2015

Volunteer Spotlight: Pete Tan, The Free Spirit


With every summit he reaches, mountaineer and LoveYourself volunteer Pete Tan learns a thing or two about life. His biggest lesson so far – “Life is not all clear skies.” 

By Jean Natividad 

There’s something about being close to nature that changes a person. Away from the ruckus of city life, one is able to reflect on the things that matter and be present for each fleeting moment.

There's also a certain calm that being in the hills, or sitting by the river, or watching the waves brings. It is a state not easy to master given today's fast-paced life when everyone seems to be in a rush. What for really – we’re not quite sure.

Pete Tan, LoveYourself volunteer, mountaineer, and explorer of life has benefited from his nature adventures. At first encounter, one can sense the serenity in his disposition and hear the calm in his voice against a backdrop of urban noise. His amiable nature makes it easy for anyone to warm up to him. Perhaps this is why he fits so well in heading LoveYourself's recruitment arm.

Pete joined LoveYourself in 2014 and started leading recruitment early in 2015. These days, he conducts valuable and insightful face-time with new recruits. And through these interactions, Pete gets to the heart of the volunteers' motivations, passions, expectations, and helps them find their special place in the organization.

As one of the first to touch base with new recruits, Pete takes the role of the listener. What his fellow volunteers may not know, however, is that he also has one heck of a story to tell.

Rough roads
As Pete continues to listen to the stories of his fellow volunteers, he goes on to live his own narrative that only gets more and more eventful along the way. His affable and free-spirited character is a product of his experiences – experiences that have not all been that easy. He has, you can say, had his fair share of major struggles in life.

"I didn't finish college, and back then, that was a big failure for me. I wanted to get into Fine Arts, but I failed the entrance examination twice," Pete said.

He went on to take Business Administration, but his lack of passion and interest for the course led him to stop schooling completely. "I decided to try it on my own, to work and make a name for myself. I really wanted to prove something to myself at the time," he added.

At present, Pete has a stable career as a Sales Account Manager. According to him, there should be "no shame in trying." With his sheer tenacity, he overcame the fear and pain of failing not just once but twice.

But as unpredictable and tricky life is, that experience turned out to be nothing compared to the next.

The bigger obstacle
In 2008, Pete was diagnosed with tuberculosis. "I didn't know how I got it. I was smoking and I had tattoos, so I thought maybe it was through infected needles," he shared.

His condition got so bad that he thought the end was near. "I was coughing up blood. I asked my doctor if I still had a chance to live, and he said that if I am determined to survive, I still can," Pete said.

Once again, Pete went through an ordeal by himself. He made the deliberate choice to not inform his family. He shared, "My sister was going to give birth, so I told myself I needed to see my would-be niece/nephew."

This chapter in his life also pushed Pete to invest in experiences. He said, "That's the reason I tried doing new things, like mountaineering. I thought I should do it while I still can. And if I fail, at least I tried."

Conquering mountains
But this time, Pete did not fail. He is in good health – so good that he's able to reach summits, breathe fresh air, and marvel at the wonders of nature, all from hundreds and thousands of feet above everyone else.

"I am now really leaning more towards experiences than material things. I realized I had to change my way of thinking and experience more meaningful things. Being able to look back and say, 'I did this, I did that," gives me a good feeling and makes me a better person," he shared.

It’s not only through climbing mountains that Pete gets a certain rush. He said, “When I volunteer, I get a rush of something, like happiness and joy. I can say that I am braver now to help others and challenge myself.”

To conclude, Pete shared one adventure story that can pretty much sum up his life:

"It was my second major climb sometime 2013/2014. We were going down Mt. Napulauan in Mountain Province when it started to rain hard. We were soaked and cold, the trail had disappeared, and we needed to set up an emergency camp. It was so difficult. I wanted to cry. I was thinking of giving up, but then I thought it was just one experience, and it shouldn't be a reason for me to stop climbing. And then one of the team leaders said something that really resonated with me – ‘Life is not all clear skies.'"

Indeed it's not. But Pete's story and his unbreakable spirit prove the sky always clears up after a storm.

Photos: Pete Tan and Kris Tangco
Photo editing: Mark Long

LoveYourself Volunteer Spotlight is a monthly feature on the cause- and service-oriented members of LoveYourself. We will be chatting with volunteers from all walks of life – all united in one cause. Keep checking every month to meet the different faces of LoveYourself.

Have you been inspired by the courage and commitment of our volunteers? Like us on Facebook and help share our message of positivity and self-worth in your own communities to help fight the spread of HIV. Or inquire about becoming a LoveYourself volunteer.

Previous LoveYourself Volunteer Spotlight: Alexis Sy

###

Monday, December 07, 2015

Collaborating With Partners and Donors for Ito Ang Tamang Panahon HIV Testing Day

LoveYourself recently held its HIV testing day last November 29 at Victoria Court North EDSA, located just several blocks away from the Balintawak junction. LoveYourself holds HIV testing days biannually, with the previous one held last May 17 at Victoria Court Malate. With the latest HIV testing day's venue, LoveYourself  aims to reach out to clients from Bulacan and the northwest portion of Metropolitan Manila. 

Banking on the popularity of soap operas and the #AlDub phenomenon, LoveYourself embarked on a campaign bolstered by this theme, with the aim of appealing to target populations and to maximize its reach. Dubbed, "Ito ang #TamangPanahon #HIVTestingDay", this HIV testing day campaign sends out the message that getting tested and finding out one's status now has never been more timely. 


Capturing the Right Market

Over a hundred turned out at the LoveYourself HIV testing day last November 29 to find out their status. The prevalence rate was at 10%, which is much higher than the national figure of 0.1%. The prevalence rate for MSM's across the country as mentioned by UNAIDS is 5-8%.  

The HIV testing day's rate of 10% more or less matches the rates obtained from previous HIV testing days, which is a good indicator that LoveYourself campaigns effectively reach out to the right population.

The Philippines is one of a handful of countries experiencing a sharp rise in the rate of HIV infections. To date, 22 Filipinos get infected with HIV on a daily basis; whereas in 2006, only 1 Filipino acquired the infection daily.

Online Campaign, Many Thanks to Social Media Partners

As one of its internal campaigns, LoveYourself volunteers as well as non-members changed their profile photos of themselves doing the #pabebe wave. The hashtag, #TamangPanahon (literally meaning "The Right Time") as well as the #pabebe wave are signature motifs from local TV network GMA-7's all-time-hit series, Kalyeserye, featuring the supercouple Alden Richards and Yaya Dub (AlDub). 

External campaigns included boosts on Facebook of the event as well as message blasts on social media apps that are most commonly used by the gay and bisexual male community, Grindr and Hornet. A blog entry announcing the HIV testing day was also posted on online dating site, PlanetRomeo

Grindr offered its blasts free of charge as part of its donation to the said event, while Hornet partnered with LoveYourself in lieu of observing World AIDS Day (December 1). 

LoveYourself public relations team also coordinated with popular LGBT blogs and online magazines in posting entries of the HIV testing day. Outrage Magazine, the Philippines' only LGBT magazine, known for bringing to light LGBT stories and raise awareness on LGBT rights and issues, made a post about the HIV testing day.  

Wazzup Pilipinas and Life Trends Online Magazine, both general audience community sites, also posted an announcement of the HIV testing day. Gay lifestyle blog, Bading na Kolboy and "counter club culture" LGBT group Kosmos had likewise featured the upcoming event.  

The collaboration with strategic blogs ensured a diversified reach, capturing audiences of varying lifestyles and sexual orientations and identities. Meanwhile, blasts and entries on popular M2M sites and social apps were very much effective in reaching out to this particular group. 

Grateful to Donors

Gayglers, a group comprised of LGBT employees of search engine giant Google, gave generous financial assistance to LoveYourself in facilitating #TamangPanahon #HIVTestingDay mass testing. It was the first time that the group provided assistance to LoveYourself. 

Together with financial and medical assistance from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), a DOH-designated HIV treatment hub in the country, resources and provisions, from social media campaigns to logistics and volunteer meals, were properly mobilized. 

LoveYourself is a non-government and non-profit HIV awareness organization comprised of volunteers mainly from the LGBT community. The organization is grateful for its partners and donors who help in providing financial and material impetus for furthering its goals of fighting the HIV epidemic in the Philippines.