Sunday, May 1, 2011

HIV Testing Centers in the Philippines


HIV Testing Centers in the Philippines!

Texting…

Me: Kim, let’s have an HIV-AIDS test. Invite Ara and other pips if you like.
Kim: When will this be? Gosh, I’m afraid.
Me: It’s up to us, actually. And it’s for free. Let’s not make the testing stress us, don’t worry like that. It will be fine. ;) I’ve just attended a training about AIDS funded by UNICEF and UNAIDS. I want to share some infos.

Kim calling…

Me: Hey!
Kim: I’m scared!
Me: Well, it’s normal, I guess. Don’t worry about the test, it will be safe and confidential. And for the result, let’s not stress ourselves now with speculations. Let’s worry when it’s time to worry. I guess.

And he got interested with the experiences of AIDS-infected new friends I’ve met in the training. I’ve shared to him how most infected people I know got the virus and what they felt physically (or symptoms) before they knew. Our conversation went for a while and I convinced him to take the test with me and my bf, and hopefully, with our other friends.

Actually, the training was about mainstreaming gender and age sensitivity to HIV-AIDS programs. It wasn’t about HIV-AIDS per se, instead how there should be a gender and age disaggregation or separate intervention for age group and gender orientation in battling with HIV-AIDS. It makes a lot of sense because different gender and age groups are exposed to risk in totally different circumstances and carry out different risky behaviors. Umh, I’m not going to have an in-depth sharing here, ‘coz the topics are very complex, which tackles about sexuality, MSM, gender identity, gender orientation, transgender, human rights, and a lot more. If you need reading materials, I can send some to you, just email me for requests. I guess, we’re allowed to share the mats that we used, just don’t forget proper citation if you use them, practically, anywhere.

I don’t engage in high-risk behaviors that would make me vulnerable to infection, but some of my friends do. I need to convince them to get tested and have safe sex before the situation is a regret.

***Kim and Ara are aliases, of course.

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