Sunday, May 14, 2017

“It Doesn’t Stop with Just One HIV Test”- Mr. Gay World 2017

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Staunch advocate of LGBTQI rights, John F. Raspado just brought pride not only to the community but to the entire country for bagging the title Mr. Gay World 2017 on 10 May in Madrid, Spain– the first Southeast Asian to win the pageant. 

Armed with passion to modernize the perspective of the society on the LGBTQI community, Raspado is one of the ambassadors of LoveYourself, Inc., the leading advocacy group on HIV Testing and Treatment in the country that focuses on raising one’s self-worth to protect themselves.

In a previous interview, Raspado said “I would like to use my voice and be a role model for the members of the LGBT community who are still in the process of acceptance.”

After winning the local pageant in October 2016, Raspado supported LoveYourself as its newest Self-Worth Ambassador during the annual HIV mass screening last November in Manila, where he guided interested individuals on their testing experience.

During that event, Raspado reminded everyone that “It doesn’t stop with just one HIV test. You would always have to be careful and be safe.”

Thus, LoveYourself will again hold its biggest HIV testing day on 28 May 2017 (10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.) at Victoria Court, Malate which is called Let's TestMNL, named after the organization's #TestMNL campaign, with Raspado as one of its ambassadors. Kindly register at this link: to avail of the free, fast and anonymous HIV test.

“John is now in the ranks of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach who internationally helps Filipinos raise awareness on HIV and AIDS,” said LoveYourself Executive Director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan.

“With his vigor to push for his advocacies, we are truly proud of John for he committed 101% himself to represent the country well, and he did,” Pagtakhan added.

Earlier, the Department of Health (DOH) released a new report that about 30 Filipinos are getting diagnosed with HIV every day compared to only 1 person a day nearly a decade ago.

Pagtakhan further stated “We are not losing steam and we will never lose the energy to continue the fight against HIV and AIDS. We have a new breed of ambassadors rallying behind us, and we are grateful that one of which is our very first Mr. Gay World.”

Aside from the title, Raspado also bested in five special awards categories namely, Best in Swimwear, Best in Formal Wear, Best in Interview, Mr. Online Vote and Mr. Social Media. His runners-up are Spain (1st), Belgium (2nd), Switzerland (3rd) and South Africa (4th).

The TestMNL campaign is a spinoff of the TestBKK in Bangkok, Thailand funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation through the APCOM, a regional organization that promotes HIV issues that affect the lives of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people, including rights, health and well-being.

LoveYourself, Inc. is a non-government advocacy group offering free and confidential HIV testing and treatment, counselling and peer education, and initiating programs and projects towards HIV/AIDS awareness. The organization, in cooperation with the Department of Health- Research Institute for Tropical Medicines (RITM), has two operational testing facilities- the LoveYourself Anglo along Shaw Boulevard, and the LoveYourself Uni in Taft Ave.-Gil Puyat.

For more details on other LoveYourself’s services, individuals may visit the group’s official website at or follow and like its social media channels: Facebook-, Twitter- @loveyourselfph, and Instagram-

Cover Photo Caption: 

Mr. Gay World 2017, John F. Raspado (center) gets wacky together with LoveYourself Executive Director Ronivin G. Pagtakhan (back, 3rd from left) and volunteers,and his Mr. Gay World Philippines runners-up John Bench T. Ortiz (back, right) and Christian Khalil Vera Cruz (back, 2nd from left) after the advocacy group’s photo shoot for its HIV mass testing last year.

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