Beauty queens Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray on Saturday attended Hacking HIV 2.0 to showcase programs aimed at magnifying human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) awareness in the country.
Gray, Philippine bet for Miss Universe 2018, promoted “SelfCare,” saying it is an HIV service using a kit that helps people to have their own HIV screening for their privacy.
“One, these are for those who are ashamed to go to centers and two for those that may be in indescribable fear. Self care is an option for those people that is accessible in your best place,” she said during the Hacking HIV 2.0 event at PETA Theater, Quezon City.
The six-month project will offer free kits to 2,000 participants and will start on January next year.
Gray explained that the SelfCare kit would only give an initial diagnosis on clients and would allow instructional video and guides. Clients who are “reactive” may consult doctors for more tests.
She hoped that HIV testing would become a “normal dialogue” and ” health routine” among the young generation as they are more prone to HIV.
“I hope that would be a normal dialogue against the young generation,” she said. “Getting HIV [screening] is part of a health routine or just doing as a maintenance.”
Wurtzbach, HIV advocacy ambassador, also introduced the 2019 Love Gala and Ripple Awards, which invited advocates to “magnify and mainstream” HIV awareness.
“In the love month next year, we will do it again to inspire more people to rally for the cause,” she said.
The Love Gala and Ripple Awards will undertake on Feb. 23 next year at One Esplanade in SM MOA Complex in Pasay City.
Wurtzbach and Gray also joined forces in LoveYourself Inc., local organization that offers free HIV tests, and counseling, to help more communities on HIV awareness.
According to Department of Health, a total of 2,234 Filipinos between age groups of 15 and 24 were diagnosed with HIV from January to August this year.