Sexy boys go bare for HIV awareness

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MANILA, Philippines—Love Yourself, the country’s fastest-growing HIV advocacy group with more than 200 trained volunteers, has launched its 2013 visual campaign dubbed ‘Project Indulge’ in collaboration with advertising agency Campaigns and Grey, and  photographer Jeanne Young.

‘Project Indulge’ – a first-of-its-kind campaign, features provocative yet tasteful imagery coupled with insightful, witty ‘matter-of-fact’ copy that departs from the usual fear tactics of HIV awareness campaigns. It suggests that people include regular HIV testing as part of their personal grooming routine to stay healthy and sexy.

“We have to break away from ‘fear’ since it prevents sexually-active individuals to go for HIV testing which is why we help avoid the stigma behind it through awareness, education and counseling. And based on the results, we believe it is working,” says Chris Lagman, director for counseling and education for Love Yourself.

“Love Yourself has reach 2.5 million online — 2,253 of which were tested. Assistance for treatment were given to the 404 who tested positive,” he adds.

Chief Creative Officer of Campaigns & Grey, Ompong Remigio explains their participation: “We wanted to contribute to HIV awareness and encourage HIV testing and we found out that Love Yourself has a good understanding of the target audience. We believe that with this collaboration, we are doing our part in addressing the situation.”

Kit Guerra. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Hot boys

Kit Guerra, Carlito Rosadino Jr and Jeremy Favia. So, what do these boys have in common? Their individual and unique sexiness and their willingness to take their shirts off to help the cause of Love Yourself.

Kit Guerra has been with the local rugby team, the Volcanoes, as a flanker for around 6 years now. He has modelled for Bench underwear in the controversial calendar and billboard shoot that featured the rugby team’s players. A graduate of Boston University with a major in Advertising, he has started working for Campaigns and Grey. CrossFit training is part of his routine almost twice a day to keep fit and prepare to compete in the 2013 CrossFit Games in June 2013. No, unfortunately he is straight and attached, with a 4-year long girlfriend based in Seattle. He has made it a habit to go for HIV screening regularly. This is his first chance to help out with the advocacy. “There is no need to be scared [about getting tested for HIV]. You get support every step of the way,” he says.

Carlito Rosadino Jr. is the current Mr. Gay World Philippines title holder, and has been an avid supporter of The Love Yourself, joining the advocacy in several events including last year’s Pride March in Makati. He is a trained contemporary, lyrical, folk and jazz dancer from the University of the Philippines where he was part of the UP FIlipiniana Dance Troupe, and after graduation, he has performed professionally for a number of local shows. He is currently in Dubai to pursue new opportunities. But before leaving, he obliged to help The Love Yourself Project this time by being part of this campaign.

Jeremy Favia. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Jeremy Favia is best known as a celebrity chef on TV5, with his shows “Chef vs. Mom” (awarded Best Lifestyle Programme category in the Asian TV Awards) and “Take-Out.” He claims to be a shy person in reality, but somehow landed a career in TV when he was urged by friends to audition for “Ka-Toque” at QTV 11. With “Take-Out” he gets to go around trying out unusual local fare, then prepares his own recipe take from his gastronomic experiences. Currently single, he says if he were to find someone special, “dapat mabait sya, maasikaso. Yung physical, bonus na lang yun. Age doesn’t matter. Number lang ‘yon.” He has friends who have admitted they were HIV positive, and he himself gets tested regularly. Chef Jeremy has this message for sexually-active people, “If you love yourself, get tested regularly.”

Sexy services

Love Yourself is also beefing up its efforts to roll out their new services, like the “ultra-discreet” and “ultra-premium” HIV testing service in Makati Central Business District called, “Love Yourself Platinum” (go.loveyourself.ph/platinum). The advocacy is also expanding soon in other key cities which includes Pasay, Cebu and in Angeles, Pampanga.

You can also visit the LoveYourself Hub (facebook.com/LoveYourselfHub), a Malate-based clinic open for testing from Thursdays to Mondays all year round.

Upcoming schedules will include Free HIV Testing events in Cebu on February 23 and in Manila on March 10. Interested individuals may visit go.LoveYourself.ph/Cebu and go.LoveYourself.ph/Manila for details.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VDMUJ6NKKCLWRMVMJRLJFI633I Rene V

    love yourself and get tested for HIV! what kind of a declaration is that? i do believe that if you don’t indulge in such things then you should not get tested (what for?) the message is misleading and dangerous.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICYWMBS3YFLGCUKMKSNHBLP36E Entropia

       Also a good point Rene V. Kit Guerra particularly got my attention. The article says he gets himself tested regularly. Why? Is he bisexual? Does he have a number of sexual encounters apart from that with his girlfriend? He he! Intriguing!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3I7UTKE47VLUVOMBA2P6TQYSTM Courage Philippines

    What is the ‘message’ that this group tries to convey to you? That you can have your cake and eat it too, that is, you can still ‘indulge’ and have sex with anyone you wish provided you practice ‘safe sex’ chiefly by using condoms. This approach doesn’t work and will never work, only abstinence will.

    As much as I admire your advocacy to help people living with HIV, I do not totally agree with the way you promote a false sense of security to those who are most vulnerable to this disease. Your slogan “Project Indulge” does not in any way address one of the root causes of the epidemic, namely risky sexual behavior. I think you’re totally misguided in your approach.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ICYWMBS3YFLGCUKMKSNHBLP36E Entropia

       You have a good point Courage Philippines!! A negative HIV test does not mean you are free from HIV 100% and its no excuse to INDULGE as what the project implies. Laboratory tests have sensitivity and specificity that reflects the accuracy of the test and there is no perfect lab test. The trouble really with the project is it can be interpreted as one is safe to INDULGE provided one is HIV negative even if that is not the real point of the project.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/57MJBJFGCW6GU4Q44V3PWA2IBM Christian

      imo, to simply indulge sexually active individuals to get tested; break away from their fear of knowing their statuses.

  • Pok2

    There is a Cure. Please watch Dengue Killer @ you tube and see AIDS testimonial. It’s the Fabunan Antiviral Injection (FAI). Google Dr. Elbourakadi, one of the scientist who validated this invention. It’s US patented and all components are APPROVED DRUGS.

  • tilamsik

    di ba sila bading?

  • jga94

    This campaign focuses on testing for HIV–problem is, once you are tested positive, you remain positive for life….any advocacy–IMO–should focus on PREVENTION…..because once you have it….you have it.

    This project seems gimicky to me….and why men….for me, it’s like promoting a stereotype….that gay men=likely to have HIV…and are the testing free?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/57MJBJFGCW6GU4Q44V3PWA2IBM Christian

      imo a gimmick is necessary to draw out fearful individuals and by individuals meaning LGBT-MSM. found these from its website.

      Love Yourself Inc. (for the Youth & LGBT-MSM) is a non-stock,
      non-profit SEC organization that aims to reach out to the community to
      propagate ideas, attitudes, and practices that encourage loving oneself
      — to DARE to be oneself, to CARE for oneself, and to SHARE oneself as a
      way to multiplying joy.

      MSM is a health/medical definition to Men-who-have-Sex-with-Men.

  • http://twitter.com/hp2184 RJ Legaspi

    No doubt, the organization’s advocacy is admirable. However, I really find the campaign photos promoting vanity rather than awareness. Perhaps, I’m just subjective. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UWISP2YXGDQ7K2SIX2GI37B2EI Darwin

    dafuq did i just read. pweh!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/57MJBJFGCW6GU4Q44V3PWA2IBM Christian

       child please

  • bogli_anakdami

    kaksaker padre dumbassos ba ang exclusive audience?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FCJF33MU3YKIKSJZZ22MOZEFQQ peter r

    Do a simple YAHOO search – ” The Homosexual Lifestyle ” , ” The Diseases of Homosexuals ” and last butt not least , ” Homosexuals and Their Diseases “. Another warped liberal story that can’t tell the TRUTH !!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YB4KTRN3QW6ATZTQNROFJVTUKE Ant

    About Kit Guerra — I don’t understand what the writer was thinking when he said UNFORTUNATELY, HE IS STRAIGHT AND ATTACHED WITH A 4-YEAR LONG GIRLFRIEND. How is it unfortunate to be in a long term, happy heterosexual relationship? And why the need to get tested regularly if he is indeed committed to a woman based overseas? It’s either the article is screaming promiscuity all over, or the writer is just horrible. Somebody enlighten me please

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