Hot boys Kit Guerra of the controversial rugby team, the Volcanoes, Mister Gay World Philippines Carlito Rosadino Jr. and celebrity chef Jeremy Favia took their shirts off to help spread the word on HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) through Love Yourself’s “Project Indulge” which encourage men to undergo HIV testing as part of personal grooming routine to stay healthy and sexy.
Love Yourself is the country’s fastest-growing HIV advocacy group with more than 200 trained volunteers.
“Project Indulge is a first-of-its-kind campaign, which features provocative yet tasteful imagery coupled with insightful, witty ‘matter-of-fact’ copy that departs from the usual fear tactics of HIV awareness campaigns. It suggests that people include regular HIV testing as part of their personal grooming routine to stay healthy and sexy,” the group said in a statement.
The campaign is a collaboration with the advertising agency Campaigns and Grey, and photographer Jeanne Young.
“There is no need to be scared [about getting tested for HIV]. You get support every step of the way,” Guerra, a six-year flanker for the Volcanoes for around 6 years now says. Guerra is among those Bench underwear models which controversial billboard was taken down from EDSA-Guadalupe area in 2011.
A graduate of Boston University with a major in Advertising, Guerra has been working for the advertising firm, Campaigns and Grey now. His routine includes a regular CrossFit training (almost twice a day) to keep fit as he prepares to compete in the CrossFit Games in June 2013.
If you think he is gay, you’re wrong! The guy is straight and attached to a 4-year long girlfriend based in Seattle.
Guerra has made it a habit to go for HIV screening regularly. This is his first chance to help out with the advocacy.
But Rosadino, the current Mister Gay World Philippines title holder is a proud gay and has been an avid supporter of The Love Yourself, joining the advocacy in several events including last year’s Pride March in Makati. He is a trained contemporary, lyrical, folk and jazz dancer from the University of the Philippines where he was part of the UP Filipiniana Dance Troupe. Rosadino is currently in Dubai seeking out new opportunities but made sure he is part of The Love Yourself “Project Indulge” campaign.
Jeremy Favia is best known as a celebrity chef on TV5, with his shows “Chef vs. Mom” (awarded Best Lifestyle Programme category in the Asian TV Awards) and “Take-Out.” He claims to be a shy person in reality, but somehow landed a career in TV when he was urged by friends to audition for “Ka-Toque” at QTV 11. With “Take-Out” he gets to go around trying out unusual local fare, then prepares his own recipe take from his gastronomic experiences. Currently single, he says if he were to find someone special, “dapat mabait sya, maasikaso. Yung physical, bonus na lang yun. Age doesn’t matter. Number lang ‘yon.” He has friends who have admitted they were HIV positive, and he himself gets tested regularly. Chef Jeremy has this message for sexually-active people, “If you love yourself, get tested regularly.”
Chris Lagman, Director for Counseling and Education for Love Yourself said, “We have to break away from ‘fear’ since it prevents sexually-active individuals to go for HIV testing which is why we help avoid the stigma behind it through awareness, education and counseling. And based on the results, we believe it is working.”
Love Yourself has reach 2.5 million people online as of this posting, 2,253 of them were tested and assistance for treatment were given to the 404 people who were tested positive.
Chief Creative Officer of Campaigns & Grey, Ompong Remigio said their participation is for the desire “to contribute to HIV awareness and encourage HIV testing.” He added, “We found out that Love Yourself has a good understanding of the target audience. We believe that with this collaboration, we are doing our part in addressing the situation.”
Love Yourself is also beefing up its efforts to roll out their new services which include the “ultra-discreet” and “ultra-premium” HIV testing service in Makati Central Business District called, “Love Yourself Platinum” (go.loveyourself.ph/platinum). Such service is about to expand soon in other key cities Pasay, Cebu and Angeles, Pampanga.
Moreover, everyone who wanna be tested could visit the LoveYourself Hub (facebook.com/LoveYourselfHub), a Malate-based clinic that’s open Thursdays to Mondays all year round.
FREE HIV Testing will be conducted in Cebu on February 23 and in Manila on March 10. Interested individuals may visit go.LoveYourself.ph/Cebu and go.LoveYourself.ph/Manila for more details.
Ely Valendez is an award-winning blogger-journalist based in the Philippines. He handles several social media marketing projects for various brands in his home country as well as for a US-based IT/e-commerce company, PCM where he works full time. He uses his spare time doing financial consultancy for a UK-based company. He also sits as member of the Board of Directors of the Philippines Communication Society and serves as a web manager and resource person of the Philippine Press Institute.
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