As of June 2016, according to reports from the Infectious Disease Cluster of the Department of Health, the total number of reported HIV and AIDS cases in the Philippines rose to 841. About 2% of this are from Northern Mindanao, with around five cases reported per day. In terms of the growth rate of HIV and AIDS cases, the region is ranked 7th. While the numbers are decreasing in other parts of the world, it continues to rise here in the Philippines.
These numbers – all facts – are an indication that Filipinos still have a lot to learn about HIV and AIDS. While there are awareness campaigns year in and year out, quite a big chunk of the population somehow refuse to open their eyes and ears and understand the real score. For them, what matters is they are not infected and they cannot be infected. This is precisely why pioneering HIV advocacy group The Red Whistle came up with the #SaveSexy project.
#SaveSexy is an HIV and AIDS awareness campaign in the form of a race similar to the popular reality show “The Amazing Race”. Three teams race to selected pit stops located in strategic areas in Cagayan de Oro, but only after they solve the challenges given to them.
In every pit stop, the teams will be required to solve a combination of physical and online challenges. Additionally, each team will be assigned a particular hashtag, which they will use to post photos of the challenges on their social media accounts. While the teams race to the pit stops, their online followers also race to like and share their posts. A social media team based in Metro Manila is tasked to monitor the hashtags.
#SaveSexy Encourages HIV and AIDS Awareness
As the primary goal of #SaveSexy is to inform and educate people, members of the three teams are encouraged to reach out to the crowd and share the basics of HIV and AIDS with them. Likewise, all the physical activities and games are intended to highlight relevant HIV and AIDS information.
At the end of the race, each team’s hashtag and share count is totaled and this is added to their total time. The winning team will be sent to Boracay, which is the first stop of the #SaveSexy tour every year.
For CDO’s first #SaveSexy race, the pitstops are Capitol University, Ayala Centrio Mall, and Gaston Park.
The Red Whistle’s #SaveSexy CDO leg is supported by Save the Children, the City Government of Cagayan de Oro, the Local AIDS Council, ABS-CBN, and the Misamis Oriental – Cagayan de Oro AIDS Network (MOCAN).
#SaveSexy CDO will take place on Satuday, November 19, from 7am to 6pm. Good luck to all teams!
*Statistics from the PIA Talakayan sa Limketkai Luxe Hotel that took place last October.
*Photo credits: #SaveSexyCDO Facebook Page. Used with permission.