According to the HIV/AIDS & ART Registry of the Philippines from the Department of Health’s Epidemiology Bureau, Region 4A is the second highest region for the month of April 2019 on having the most number of newly diagnosed cases of HIV listing 137 cases out of the 840 newly confirmed HIV-positive individuals in the country.’ This region is popularly known as CALABARZON or formally branded as The Southern Tagalog Region, which includes the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon Province.

The number one region: NCR or National Capital Region, contributing 32% on the data or 271 HIV-Positive individuals with the most number of newly diagnosed cases on April of this year, is geographically surrounded by these provinces with Laguna to the south and Cavite to the south-west part of Metropolitan Manila.

CAVITE, one of the Southern Tagalog provinces, is not only known for it’s accessibility to a weekend of rest and relaxation, but is also making a mark on the HIV and AIDS Advocacy by showing their support in an event entitled: ‘Search for HIV Advocate 2019,’ which took place on the 26thnight of July 2019 in the municipality of KAWIT.

This display of passion and commitment is made possible with the resilience of twenty (20) candidates representing the LGBT COMMUNITY of Kawit, Cavite through a project proposal submitted by LGBT Kawit Municipal Chairwoman Miss Ashley Roasa and with the approval of the Local Government Unit through Miss Joyce Lara Barbon from the Rural Health Unit.

The highlight of the program includes a video presentation and a living testament to the consequences brought by HIV and AIDS and the right mindset to address them. Two videos from The Red Whistle entitled: ‘Celebrities’ Script reading Ends with Unexpected Twist,’ and ‘A Moving performance on Ending HIV Together – Rise Up by Andra Day’ were played as a reminder not just to people who are infected with HIV but to everyone who is affected by it: “You are never less of a person because of your mistakes.”

After the two videos from the Red Whistle and another video from GMA News TV’s iJuander were played, the person who made a contribution on the three stories compiled for the first video shared his story on his lifelong journey juggling the ups and downs of living a life with HIV. Moses Ayuha from Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. or PAFPI is a living testament on how to have the courage to fight HIV and AIDS and RISE UP from it.

This one-night event showed how three bodies (HIV ADVOCATES + LGBT KAWIT + REGION 4A LGU) merge to form a delicate balance in ‘Fighting and Preventing Discrimination’ and the underlying principles needed to build a better connection for the future of HUMANITY: ACCEPTANCE + INCLUSIVITY = RESPECT “because when we unconditionally accept what we can’t normally explain by including them in our daily routine, it will lead us to better understand their feelings as human beings through proper information and awareness, which will make us respect them even more and will lead them to respecting us in return for opening not just our minds, but our hearts as well.”

Photos of the four of the twenty candidates who joined the event from JDPICTURISTA:

The first video from The Red Whistle:

Photos of Moses Ayuha during his testimonial:

April 2019 HIV/AIDS & ART Registry of the Philippines: