Travel Safely: Travel and HIV Awareness
Traveling has become one of the increasing hobbies of every Filipino nowadays, thanks to cheaper airfare and greater accessibility. Of course, one seeks the adventure, exploring new horizons, cultures, environment and experiencing fun at the same time.
For most young viajeros and viajeras, fun and adventure is always entailed with every new destination they get through. And for some people, “fun and adventure” may also mean leisurely “making love to their partners,” or straightly speaking—“have sexual intercourse with someone.” That’s thrill and adrenaline rush rolled into one. Of course, it might get involved with having to “play all the night with that ‘unknown’ someone.” Making love in Boracay or Puerto Galera or anywhere with an unknown partner may just bring you somewhere in the dark, rolling in the deep, and probably would end up as a nightmare instead.
Of course, travelling is also entailed with some risks. In case of emergencies like accidents or getting a disease in a far-away land, you might need some blood coming from blood banks, in order to save your life. However be weary, this might just add up to your agony if not careful.
The Philippines’ number of HIV infections has grown more than 25% according to a UNAIDS report, mostly within the 20-29 year old range as of 2010. Most of the risk came from unprotected sexual intercourse and still there might be a lot of undocumented cases due to lack of education regarding this disease and even the social stigma that it is associated with. Before we know it, “making love” with your beloved partner may not be such a good idea after all or even travelling isn’t safe as it is–even to those who are innocent. Ignorance has never been this dreadful.
It has to stop! Blow the Red Whistle!
Facing an alarming situation of the spreading epidemic, The Red Whistle campaign aims to educate the people regarding HIV through raising awareness and encouraging communities to act, deliver the message of safe sex, and facilitating ease of access to HIV testing, treatment and support services. The Red Whistle campaign started recently last 18 August 2011 at the BlackBird restaurant in Kamagong Street in Makati City, spearheaded by photographer Niccolo Cosme’s advocacy, together with StarWorld, Take the Test, the bloggers, and other representatives that support the cause.
For us viajeros and viajeras, if we like to enjoy our travels, like as what people say, “Stay safe always!” Take precautions rather than risking it. If making love to a partner or to someone, always use latex (condom yan!); Avoid prohibited drugs and even sharing syringes; And in case that you need blood due to medical reasons, have the donated blood double checked before it can be transfused to your body. Also, it is better to have you or your partner be tested. It is better safe than sorry, right? Finally, educate. Share your knowledge about this, even if you are an HIV negative. These simple ways may just stop the rising epidemic and thus the fun and enjoyment never stops. Simple steps that make the Philippines safer for us travelers to enjoy with.
Let’s travel around the country, let’s travel around the world! Enjoy life and have an adventure, but always make sure to be safe always, whether on traveling or enjoying life itself. This way, we make our country safe not only for our young generation, but for our families, our communities and the whole society as well. Blow the whistle, blow harder! Let’s make the Philippines safer and healthier.
If you would like to be tested, you may call Take the Test Online at 0917-5844878 and 09233780800 or visit them at http://www.facebook.com/takethetest. Information about your test would remain confidential.
For more information about Red Whistle, simply visit its Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TheRedWhistle