MANILA – In celebration of the World AIDS Day on December 1, LoveYourself, Inc. and the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), together with 10 community-based organizations nationwide, will conduct a national HIV testing day on November 23.
Dubbed as “Know Your Status (KYS) and Play or #KYSandPlay2019, this national HIV testing day entails a free, fast and confidential HIV test at 19 test locations nationwide for registrants to this link: bit.ly/KYSandPlay2019.
This collaboration with PETA aims to strengthen the awareness campaigns of community-based organizations through highlighting the #ActingOnHIV drive of the theater institution. Theater performers are the primary ambassadors for the #KYSandPlay2019, namely: Topper Fabregas, Jimi Marquez, Gio Gahol, Gerhard Krysstopher, Iji Ampil, Eko Baquial, Chamyto Aguedan, Bene Manaois, Dylan Talon, Rhenwyn Gabalonzo, Lygie Carillo, Cheeno Macaraig, Carlon Josol, Mico Esquivel, Miguel Almendras, Jarred Jaicten, and Ian Segarra.
Fabregas relayed, “It’s so important to have HIV represented in theater, hopefully in all art platforms. I remember when we did Normal Heart, you’ll be surprised at how so much people don’t know [about HIV].”
Relatedly, Marquez explained, “When you’re getting tested, it’s a win-win situation if you think about it. If you’re negative, you know you’re practicing safe sex correctly. If you’re positive, then you get to know what to do next.”
Gahol said, “There is strength in knowing the changes you need to face, to make good of whatever your status is. Know your status and you get to choose your next step. If we let fear take over, we allow the virus to choose for us.”
Based on the Department of Health (DOH) report, there are around 1,111 newly confirmed cases of HIV cases July alone. 51% of the cases were aged 25-34 years old, followed by 31%
There will be five test locations in the National Capital Region – (1) LoveYourself Anglo in Mandaluyong, (2) LoveYourself Uni and (3) Victoria by LoveYourself in Pasay, Lily by LoveYourself x DIOSSA in Parañaque, and (5) LoveYourself Welcome in Manila.
For Luzon, there will be four sites, including (1) Hero by LoveYourself in Bacoor and (2) Aves Love and Light in Brgy. Bayan Luma 4 in Imus, Cavite, (3) Lakan Community Center in Brgy. Lakandula in Mabalacat, Pampanga, and (4) Amos Tara in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
In the Visayas region, there are seven testing areas – (1) LoveYourself White House along Llorente street in Capitol Site, Cebu City, (2) Atma Prema Community Center in Banilad, Cebu City, (3) Watever KTV in Lapu-Lapu, (4) Sunflower KTV in Parkmall, Mandaue, (5) Barangay Poblacion Park in Talisay, and (6) Rajah Community Center in Brgy. Maria Clara, Iloilo City, and (7) kNOwTell Health and Wellness Lounge in Robinsons Place, Iloilo City.
Meanwhile, Mindanao region has three testing centers, namely, (1) Oro Pia Community Center in Cagayan de Oro, (2) #36 Loyola St., Bo. Obrero, Poblacion District in Davao, and (3) Mujer.Community Center in Brgy. Tetuan, Zamboanga.
#KYSandPlay2019 is the fifth of its kind HIV testing movement from various community organizations that is supported by Pilipinas Shell Foundation Incorporated, and AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
The community-based organizations that join forces for this movement are Aves Love and Light, Bangaw Federation, Bisdak Pride, Decent Image of South Signal Association (DIOSSA), Family Planning Organization of the Philippines – Iloilo Chapter, Juan Positive Movement, Kagay-an PLUS, LoveYourself, Inc., Mujer-LGBT Organization, Olympus Society of Davao, and Project H4 (Health. Help. Hope. Happiness).