Break FREE from FEAR

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 8:22 AM

Fear is the only obstacle to knowing one's HIV status.

For five years of talking to people, the fear of the actual HIV test, of the actual treatment and the blurry image of the life with HIV, becomes the primary obstacle for not taking the HIV.  To break free from the fear, as a Foundation focusing on awareness, prevention, HIV screening, treatment, care and support, we need to educate everyone about the entire spectrum of HIV. Not educating about the entire spectrum, not educating about the future and life of someone with HIV will still create a fear of the unknown.

Most people are scared to even get started, to take the HIV screening or test because they for one, are scared to know if they are HIV Positive. A lot still believes that HIV is a death sentence. 

So let us start from there. Let us tell you what we know. Let's begin at the end.

If you are HIV Positive:

a. HIV antiretroviral therapy is free in ALL treatment hubs all over the Philippines. 
   Please check this link:   HIV Treatment Hubs
b. HIV consultation is FREE in all government treatment hubs all over the Philippines
c. EVERYTHING is confidential
d. PhilHealth covers most of the laboratory tests every 6 months.
e. There is an HIV Law that protects the rights of a person living with HIV:
    i. HIV Test is not a requirement, thus an employee with HIV doesn't need to get worried
       every annual physical exam as the test is ALWAYS voluntary.
    ii. During the drug test, it won't show the HIV status nor is an issue with one's medicines
    iii. An employer can adjust a PLHIV's schedule as needed because of his health, under 
       the HIV in the workplace policy as mandated by the Department of Labor and 
    iv. One can't be discriminated and get fired because of HIV.
f. One can work even in a medical field.
g. One can work abroad except for countries where PLHIV's are prohibited, e.g. middle east, muslim countries and Singapore.
h. HIV is MANAGEABLE. It is not a death sentence anymore because there are medicines in the Philippine that stop and control it. There are also medicines for AIDS-related infections. There are also vaccinations to prevent infections.
i. There are SUPPORT GROUPS that you can join to help you with acceptance.

Now, knowing that, what is the next fear that pushes away people from taking the test.

1. Scared that they will JUDGED.

A lot of people thinks that they will be branded as promiscuous or gay when taking the HIV test.

The truth of the matter is HIV can happen to anybody.

a. HIV can be transmitted even to normal heterosexual relationships. 
b. HIV can be transmitted to another person by having even ONE condomless sex. 
c. HIV can be transmitted by a mother to her baby by delivery or by breastfeeding.
d. HIV can be transmitted by sharing needles during drug use.

The HIV Law requires all HIV testing centers and facilities to observe:

a. Confidentiality of records
b. Not discriminate people
c. Have pre- and post- counseling

2. Scared to be recognized in the HIV testing centers

a. Most of the HIV testing facilities are discreet.
b. All facilities don't brand their facilities with "HIV Testing Center". Usually it is just a room or if in a hospital, it is part of the other general tests.
c. Staff knows the HIV Law, thus they can be sued if they violate confidentiality by gossiping or talking about your records to others.

3. Scared how the staff will reveal to you the result.

a. ONLY you will know the result.
b. It is in a sealed envelope which you alone can open.
c. It CAN'T be announced publicly by the medical staff.
d. In clinics you open it in front of the counselor ONLY.

Education about all of this is very important.

1. It encourages people to take an early HIV testing if one has experienced:
    a. Condomless sex
    b. Condomless sex with  multiple partners
    c. Sharing of needles during drug use
    d. Had symptoms of sexual;y transmitted infections
2. It encourages people to take an early HIV Treatment if one is positive.

Early HIV Testing and early HIV Treatment STOP the spread of HIV.

1. By taking the HIV test you will know your HIV Status.
    a. If you are HIV negative, then you will be equipped with the knowledge on how to 
       protect yourself with the one-on-one counseling
    b. You will understand the need to use CONDOMS and water-based lubricants
    c. You will protect yourself by not mixing alcohol and drug use while having sex
    d. You will protect yourself by not sharing needles during drug use.

Then, YOU CAN STOP the spread of HIV.

2. If you are HIV Positive
    a. HIV STOPS with you as can't have CONDOMLESS sex.
    b. Early Treatment can stop the spread of HIV. By taking the antiretroviral medicines, after a period of time, your viral load or the amount of HIV in your body becomes undetectable , i.e. very low that the risk to transmit it is miniscule.

Then, YOU CAN STOP the spread of HIV 

So what are you waiting for? Take the HIV test now in an HIV testing facility. If you are still scared, Project Red Ribbon can help you. 

HIV Screening by Project Red Ribbon

Project Red Ribbon is the partner of the Department of Health for HIV Screening. We can get you HIV Screened,

1. In our office
2. Meet you somewhere to take the screening
3. Have a meeting with you and your place in your home.

Now, you don't have an excuse. 

Call us and we can help you. Let us all STOP the spread of HIV in the Philippines. 


TRR HIV Hotline Numbers 


Office: TThS Phone Counselling
(02) 656-7297

If you want to join a private HIV support group in Facebook, please add Darwin Tenoria, the TRR Program Director and request to be added in the group. We have a lot of PLHIV, counselors, HIV doctors, advocates and supporters who you can talk to.

"Spreading Compassion"

-Project Red Ribbon-

Want to be ASSISTED for the HIV TEST?? 
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