In celebration of World AIDS Day this December, LoveYourself, Inc., the leading non-government organization on HIV awareness and testing in the Philippines, will again hold its free, anonymous, and fast community-based screening on 27 November at Victoria Court Malate in Manila.
Dubbed as LoveYourself Incognito 2.0, the organization invites interested individuals to register at go.loveyourself.ph/incognito who can be assured of quality service, as this one-day testing activity is supported by the Department of Health- Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM), Pilipinas Shell Foundation and Mister Gay World Philippines Organization (MGWPO).
LoveYourself Executive Director Ronivinn G. Pagtakhan said “With this kind of HIV testing day, we always ensure utmost confidentiality and promptness of procedure to best protect and serve our clients.”
“We are also expanding our reach to cover untapped populations who are scared to know their HIV status,” Pagtakhan relayed. He added that while the event focuses on the male population, the group also welcomes females and transgender friends to avail of the free, anonymous, and fast HIV testing service.
Emphasizing on the significance of early detection of HIV, MGWPO Board of Director Ryan D. Soto underscored that “It is not the virus that kills them, it is the pride and stigma.”
In August alone, the DOH-Epidemiology Bureau reported that there are 764 newly-diagnosed people living with HIV (PLHIV), while only 611 PLHIVs who have been diagnosed up to that month have sought treatment.
Alarmed over the huge fallout from the newly-diagnosed PLHIV to immediately enroll to HIV treatment, Pagtakhan said “We are tying testing with treatment to further help our kababayans to live their lives to the fullest even with HIV.”
By being anonymous, LoveYourself will employ a system of client identification known as the Unique Identifier Code to distinguish a client without revealing its name, and to eliminate filling out of lengthy identification forms leading to reduced times and increased efficiency.
Innovatively, LoveYourself will be using the immunochromatographic assay kits, in which the clients will have to undergo pricking of a finger to get just two (2) drops of blood for screening. The group assures the public that the accuracy and quality of results (specificity and sensitivity) are the same with the results from procedures done in LoveYourself’s established testing clinics -LoveYourself Anglo along Shaw and LoveYourself Uni in Taft-Buendia.
LoveYourself Incognito’s advantage is the waiting time of results, which will only take 15-20 minutes from the time of blood extraction. The period is also inclusive of counseling on safer sex practices to lower the risk of HIV contraction, a discussion on salient information about HIV-AIDS, then an explanation on the results of the test.
Prospective clients who signed up at go.loveyourself.ph/incognito will just need to arrive on the said testing venue on 27 November between 10:00 a.m. -7:00 p.m. to avail of the free, anonymous, and fast HIV test.
For more details on Incognito and other LoveYourself’s services, individuals may visit the group’s official website at www.loveyourself.ph or follow and like its social media channels: Facebook- @loveyourself.ph, Twitter- @loveyourselfph, and Instagram- @loveyourself.ph.