What I did during World AIDS Day
It’s been a while since I joined in any activity for World AIDS Day. But today I represented HASH, the NGO I co-founded with a friend last year in an event held at Atrium Hotel in Pasay City.
The organizer of the event was Pinoy Plus Association–the first PLHIV organization in the Philippines. The morning’s activities were about raising awareness on HIV & AIDS among young people. I caught the tail-end of a presentation on mental well-being and the open forum that followed. There’s a wealth of knowledge we can learn from young people, and vice versa. I’ve long realized this nugget of wisdom. Changing the way we think and talk about sexual health will depend on them.
Today was also the day the winner of a poster-making contest was announced. I inspected the entries and came up with a favorite, which turned out to be the winning entry, according to the judges.
And finally, the main reason for my being in the event, I represented my NGO in signing a Memorandum of Understanding between UNAIDS Philippines, Pinoy Plus Association, and HASH to operationalize a Response Center for Filipinos Living with HIV. This response center aims to address in real time issues specific to PLHIV like treatment, care, and support. It can be accessed through phones (mobile and landline), a smartphone app (IOS and android), and on-line (website and social media).
Today was quite busy and tiring (mostly because of the heavy traffic) but productive in terms of looking at ways to address the Philippine HIV & AIDS epidemic.