Wednesday, April 27, 2016

#SaveSexy Through “Racing” HIV Awareness and Testing

By Raybert Domingo

Thousands flock to Boracay every summer for leisurely vacation, and in this time of the year, fun and play runs around among strangers and even familiar faces. Thus, LoveYourself, Inc., an HIV awareness and testing organization, earnestly supports the Red Whistle's #SaveSexy Campaign even before the gun fires on 29 April-01 May in the world renowned island beach resort.

The #SaveSexy campaign, which is on its second year now, is a race where individuals from various youth organizations are invited to volunteer as “Lifeguards” to promote HIV awareness and prevention measures among the most vulnerable sectors of the society, such as, the youth and males-who-have-sex-with-males.

"We are in charge of conducting HIV 101 to all #SaveSexy Lifeguards who will then explain the information to tourists and locals in Boracay,” said Loveyourself Executive Director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan.

LoveYourself and The Red Whistle also wanted to take advantage of the number of people in Boracay following the 350,000 foreign and local guests who visited in April and May last year. The advocacy groups see an opportunity in this number of people who can be taught of sex education as a means of prevention, since both organizations aim to educate their peers and colleagues to finally resolve the stigma and ignorance to HIV and AIDS.

The goal of #SaveSexy campaign this year is 300% higher than its initial run last year. The campaign aims to reach the finish line with a total of 1,000 people marching towards the end of the race in an effort to spread awareness on HIV. So, it will be extra exciting and interesting for this year’s Lifeguards to sprint up their dedication and passion in hurdling the challenges which will eventually dictate fate in the race.

At the last mile of this race, the LoveYourself and The Red Whistle encourage everyone to register to for anonymous and confidential HIV testing. It has to be emphasized that through timely testing and treatment, safe and satisfying sex, and consistent and correct use of condom that we can truly have a podium finish for #SaveSexy.