Eight major organizations are coming together in the Philippines to provide the first-ever multi-site, free and confidential HIV testing day.
Called, ‘This Is Me: Brave and Free’ and led by HIV organization, LoveYourself people will be able to get free HIV tests at ten places around the Philippines on Saturday 26 May.
‘With the increasing number of people acquiring HIV, LoveYourself endeavors to gather fellow warriors in the advocacy for a stronger and resounding voice to promote self-empowerment in taking care of one’s sexual health, as a prelude to curbing the HIV epidemic in the country,’ said LoveYourself Executive Director Ronivin G Pagtakhan.
The Philippines has one of the highest rates of new HIV cases in the world, with some health officials dubbing it a ‘national emergency’.
Those at high risk of acquiring HIV are young men who have sex with men and trans women.
HIV up 3,147%
The latest data from the Department of Health (DOH) 912 people tested positive for HIV in March alone.
The new data showed that 99% of the newly-diagnosed individuals acquired HIV through sexual contact. 86% of those were among men who have sex with men.
‘Apart from its primary goal of instilling awareness and action towards ending HIV, “This Is Me: Brave and Free” empowers one’s self-worth that inspires unity in diversity, and brings the message of love, acceptance and finding strength and courage to overcome fear, which are often associated with HIV and AIDS,’ LoveYourself said in a statement.
This Is Me: Brave and Free is happening right across the Philippines, even in areas outside of the big cities. Click on this link to register to get tested.