AS PART of the celebration of the World Aids Day, medical practitioners, counselors and volunteers of HIV-Aids (human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) converged for the Night of Advocates in the Red Carpet Runway Advocacy Fashion Show last Tuesday, November 20.
Spearheaded by Tingug-CDO Inc., a non-government organization that promotes the protection of human rights among homosexual, bisexual, and transgender, the event was held at the activity center of Centrio Ayala Mall where 130 doctors, midwives, nurses, counselors and volunteers from all over Northern Mindanao participated and walked the red carpet in their work clothes, showing their support to people who are living with HIV-Aids.
“We would like to make known and shout to the public na: ‘Hey these are the people working for the advocacy.’ Because they are definitely working the advocacy,” Reynante Namocatcat of Tingug-CDO Inc. said.
Apart from the fashion show, the event also comprised with testimonials from persons who are living with HIV-Aids, a bid to make the public aware of it and to slowly diminish the stigma and discrimination.
“Because as of now, when you talk about HIV and Aids, naa pa ang self-discrimination, naa pa tong denial and unacceptance. So, we are trying to shout out to the general public that: 'Hey, this is not actually the [time for] discrimination anymore, this is the need of time to respond,'” Namocatcat said.
“We need to let the people wake up and just informing them that there is a need to respond. By way of attending learning group sessions, and submitting ourselves for testing so that we will know our status,” he added.
The event, according to Namocatcat, is also to encourage the public to submit for voluntary counseling and testing, saying that there is a need for people to know and understand their status.
“By knowing our status, we will be able to mitigate ourselves from having multiple sex partners,” Namocatcat said.
On December 1, in time for World Aids Day celebration, Tingug-CDO Inc. has organized another event to be held in Limketkai Mall.
The event will consist of a mass, lectures on HIV-Aids and human rights issues.