THE Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro City Aids Network (Mocan) said it welcomes the intent of newly-crowned Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach to champion HIV-Aids awareness and said it is eagerly awaiting Wurtzbach’s plan of action on her avowed advocacy.

Mocan chairperson Fritzie Estoque said Wurtzbach’s answer to the question and answer portion of the Miss Universe pageant is timely and relevant.

According to the Department of Health’s (DOH) Integrated HIV Behavioral and Serologic Surveillance (IHBSS), Cagayan de Oro City is ranked second in the whole country with a prevalence of 9.3 percent focused on MSMs or male having sex with other males.

Estoque said Wurtzbach’s influence would be a big help in their campaign to raise people’s awareness.

“Saying she would like to help in HIV advocacy is one thing but seeing a relevant and a concrete action to this affect is another thing,” Estoque said.

Cagayan de Oro City is Wurtzbach’s second home.

“Seeing Miss Pia’s action pertaining to her pronouncement is what we will hope for in the next few days of her reign,” Estoque said.

Estoque said the Mocan is more than willing to work with Wurtzbach in HIV awareness advocacy.

“We continue to learn and grow in this advocacy. We correct misconceptions, we educate properly both the young and general population in schools, in communities, in churches, and in different institutions and companies. We continue to speak, collaborate, and engage with officials so that we can level-up and sustain our campaigns,” Estoque said.

Estoque said Mocan will continue to work to enjoin health care providers to give complete and genuine health care to people with HIV-Aids.

She said their task also includes campaigning to raise people’s understanding of HIV-Aids to eliminate stigma and discrimination.

“Having HIV is not a life sentence. There is life after getting infected with HIV. Free treatment is available and if one seeks for help voluntarily, we can assure utmost confidentiality and respect,” Estoque said.

Estoque said the Mocan plans to embark on a more creative and technology-based approach in its advocacy campaigns to effectively capture the minds of the people.

She said Wurtzbach’s concern is an inspiration for Mocan to persevere.

“With the newly-crowned Miss Universe 2015 amidst all these gigantic challenges, we, the Mocan will be honored to work with her in this cause,” Estoque said.

Wurtzbach had said that being Miss Universe is both an honor and responsibility and that she will use her voice to influence the youth and raise awareness to certain causes like HIV awareness.

“This is timely and relevant to my country. I want to show the world, the universe rather, that I am confidently beautiful with a heart,” Wurtzbach said.