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 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 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 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

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:

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.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Prescription of Hot Doctors of Pinas: A Primer on Your HIV Testing

By Mark Angello C. Ganon

Celebrating self-care has never been this sizzling! On November 24, 2018, 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. Catch them in 15 locations nationwide by signing up here.

Is it your first time to get tested? Don’t worry, the Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas have got you covered. They know it can be downright daunting to try something for the first time, may it be your first vaccine shot, your first visit to the dentist, or your first date.

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Getting yourself tested for HIV for the first time is no exemption to the jitters. Fear of needles and fear of the unknown are the main culprits that give us the cold feet when it comes to getting screened for HIV for the first time. As such, the Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas gives you a prescription of confidence pills for your maiden HIV testing:

1. Courage Pill. Taking charge of one’s sexual health means stepping out of your comfort zone and owning to the challenge that you alone are responsible for your own sexual welfare. If you think you are at risk of a possible HIV infection (e.g. unprotected anal or vaginal sex, or injected drugs and sharing of used needles), then it is high time to get screened for HIV. Our Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas are commending you now for accepting the challenge of getting tested.

2. Knowledge Tablet. Before you head on to the testing site, it’s best to be prepared of the testing process. Knowing how the testing goes will lessen your fear of the unknown. For starters, the HIV test is conducted for free, which means you only need to show up in any of our 15 sites to get tested. Another thing to note is that fasting is not required for your HIV test. Go on and indulge on your favourite comfort food so you will be relaxed throughout the process.

3. Vitamin Trust + Open Mindedness. Our Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas will be with you for the whole-day foray, and so are our able HIV Counselors who will be there to entertain any concerns you may have on your first HIV testing. For the Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas event, Community-Based Screening will be the method used for testing. Once you register, you will be assisted by our able phlebotomy team for the blood test and you will be assisted by our counselors for the results. So if you have any questions on HIV, don’t just google it. You might get more questions rather than answers so you better ask our counselors and volunteers instead.

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4. Booster Shots for Readiness. Getting tested for HIV will entail that you will know your HIV status at the end of the session, which can either be Reactive or Non-Reactive. So to speak, whatever your results may be, the Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas will be with you to help you prepare for the next steps. If your results yielded a Non-Reactive result, that’s great! Your responsibility now is to take care of your sexual welfare through the Triangle of Self-Care (Timely Testing and Treatment, Safe and Satisfying Sex, and Correct and Consistent Use of Condom).

If in case your results turned out Reactive, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the line for you! We will be sending your blood samples for confirmatory and we will start with AntiRetroviral Therapy Treatment (ART) as soon as possible. The ART, in effect, will help lower HIV load in the body, which will eventually lead to an undetectable status. With proper medication and a healthy lifestyle, you can and will continue to live and love, even with HIV.

5. Safe Space Syrup. Whatever your result is, we uphold it with utmost confidentiality. Once you step in our community centers and clinic, consider it as a safe space where judgement is dusted off at the doormat and hope is served for snacks.

Now that you’re ready to get tested, sign up and head on to the nearest testing center and take charge of your sexual health! To register for the Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas, click here.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

LoveYourself Expands with Three New HIV Testing Sites

By Jacob Lazaro and Bet Domingo

YOUR WELCOME: LoveYourself’s newest community is named after the iconic Welcome Rotonda as the gateway to Quezon City from Manila. In photo are the volunteers of LoveYourself together with its partner AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). Aside from AHF, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. and MACARE Laboratories are the major partners of LoveYourself on this new clinic.

MANDALUYONG CITY – The LoveYourself, Inc., the leading community-led HIV services provider, will be opening its three new HIV testing centers – two in the National Capital Region (NCR) and one in Cebu City.

“This move aims to address the growing numbers of HIV infection among the youth and at risk populations,” LoveYourself founder and executive director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan said. In the past 10 years, the proportion of HIV diagnosis in 15-24 age group nearly tripled from 13% in 2008 to 29% in 2018 based on the latest Department of Health data.

Pagtakhan emphasized that it is important to instill into the minds of the youth - like university students – of the ways to prevent HIV, and by having regular testing as a medical routine.

First of the new community centers is LoveYourself Welcome, which opens on the 17th of November (Saturday). It is located at 858 Blumentritt Road cor. Remedios St., Sampaloc, Manila near the iconic Welcome Rotonda. The clinic is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 2:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m.

With LoveYourself Welcome located near the University Belt, it aims to provide a convenient access to HIV screening and other related services for students, youngsters and other demographics in the area.

SERVICE COFFEE: Mark De Castro, a LoveYourself Volunteer, makes a coffee for the visiting clients for their HIV testing and other sexual health concerns. LoveYourself Welcome is inspired by a café that imbibes a safe space for all its stakeholders. The organization envisioned that clients will have the time to relax while waiting for their test results.

The second NCR community center is the Lily by LoveYourself located at the #98 Pineda Building Manalac Ave., Sitio De Asis, Barangay San Martin De Porres Paranaque City, which is just across the Waltermart in Upper Bicutan.

Aside from HIV testing, Lily by LoveYourself, in partnership with Decent Image ofSouth Signal Association (DIOSSA), will also offer hormone replacement therapy and counseling from Wednesdays to Sundays between 12:00 nn-9:00 p.m.

Moreover, LoveYourself White House in Cebu will be operating soon to cater to Cebuanos who seek HIV-related services. This is the first LoveYourself community center outside Metro Manila.

Existing community center of LoveYourself are LoveYourself Anglo (Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City), LoveYourself Uni (Taft Ave., Pasay City), and Victoria by LoveYourself (Park Ave., Manila).

These community centers are supported by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. as well as MACARE Laboratories.

LoveYourself is an organization mostly made up of volunteers who take multi-layered action on the HIV epidemic by promoting self-worth and the so-called TSC concept, which means “timely testing and treatment, safe and satisfying sex, and correct and consistent use of condom” as ways to protect one’s self from doing risky behaviors.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas sizzles this November

By Mark Angello C. Ganon

Hey you! Yes, you! Want to know your HIV status in a quick, costless, and confidential HIV screening process? Come and join the HOT DOCTORS of ‘PINAS in this year’s second wave of the National HIV Testing Day on November 24, 2018. You read that right! We might not have the hot doctor of Instagram, Dr. Mike, but we can’t help but #lovelocal when our own Hot Doctors of Pinas are there to aid us in taking charge of our sexual health. Sign up now!

The Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas event follows the success of This is Me: Brave and Free, the country’s first community-based, multi-site HIV testing event which has catered to more than 700 clients nationwide. This year, LoveYourself has partnered with 10 other Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) manning 15 different testing sites. Yes, that’s 15 different locations to choose from in 14 different cities across the country.

In Metro Manila, we have LoveYourself Anglo at Mandaluyong, LoveYourself, Inc. at Taguig, HASH - HIV & AIDS Support House, Inc, at Quezon City, LoveYourself Welcome and Pinoy Plus Advocacy, Inc. at Manila City, Victoria by LoveYourself and LoveYourself Uni at Pasay, and, Diossa and LoveYourself, Inc. at Parañaque. For Luzon CBOs outside Metro Manila, we have Juan Posi+ive Movement at Pampanga, Cavite Positive Action Group The JCH Advocacy Inc. and AVES Love and Light at Cavite, and Project H4 at Palawan. For CBOs manning the testing sites at the Visayas and Mindanao areas, we have LoveYourself Whitehouse at Cebu, Kagay-an PLUS - Preserving Life, Uniting Society Inc. at Cagayan de Oro, Mujer-LGBT Organization at Zamboanga, and Olympus Society of Davao at Davao

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With Community-Based Screening (CBS) utilized in all testing sites for the whole-day event, you will be assured a quick and easy screening process. This eliminates the long waiting time of the standard testing, which may last from one to two hours. With the CBS, results are ready in just 15-20 minutes of processing time and will only require a few drops of blood through a finger prick method. It should be noted that with CBS, you will not be given a printed copy of the results. But don’t fret, the third generation kit that will be used is 100% sensitive for non-reactive clients.

For the list of the testing sites and the partner CBOs, please be guided below.


1. CBO      LoveYourself, Inc.
Location    LoveYourself Uni, 2/F LM Building, 2028 Taft Avenue Extension, Pasay City

2. CBO      LoveYourself, Inc.
Location  Victoria by LoveYourself, 2/F Torres Building 2442 Park Ave. Pasay City

3. CBO       LoveYourself, Inc.
Location     LoveYourself Anglo, Unit 5, 3/F Anglo Building, #715-A Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City

4. CBO       Diossa and LoveYourself, Inc.
Location     #98 Pineda Building Manalac Ave paranaque across Waltermart Bicutan

Location    TBA

6. CBO        Pinoy Plus Advocacy Pilipinas, Inc. and LoveYourself, Inc.
Location    1965 JRB Building Anacleto Street Sta. Cruz , Manila


7. CBO       Juan Posi+ive Movement
Location    104-B Roxas Street, Brgy. Lakandula, Mabalacat, Pampanga

Location    Cavite Positive Action Group The JCH Advocacy Inc., Room 7 and 8 E.M.A Building Km.17 Aguinaldo Highway Bacoor, Cavite

9. CBO    AVES Love and Light
Location   Lumina Mall E Cor. Nueno Ave. Imus, Cavite

10. CBO    Project H4
Location   #41 Abad Santos St., Brgy. Masipag, Puerto Princesa


11. CBO    LoveYourself, Inc.
Location   LoveYourself Whitehouse (TBA)


Location  KPLUS CHAMPION Lounge, Gate 2 & 3, Nuevas Bldg. 8th-21st Street Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City

Location  TBA

Location   #36 Loyola St., Bo. Obrero, Poblacion District Davao City

Now that we’ve got all the details covered, mark your calendars and catch our Hot Doctors of ‘Pinas on November 24, 2018 at a testing site near you! To register, click here.