On April 5 and 6, Take The Test, with the support of the AIDS Society of the Philippines, will conduct a free mobile VCT (Voluntary Counseling and Testing) at White Beach, Puerto Galera, a prime holiday spot for locals and foreigners taking advantage of the long Holy Week vacation. People flock to the beaches of Puerto Galera to kick back, relax, and enjoy, but whether or not the fun is on the beach or somewhere more intimate, it is advisable for fun seekers to take precautions.
As a prevention site of the Global Fund and as a partner of ASP, it has been a tradition since 2009 to have a mobile VCT at Puerto Galera. With 274 new cases reported by the Department of Health as of February 2012 (6 cases more than December last year’s highest number of 268 cases), knowing one’s HIV status is essential in preventing HIV transmission, especially in a place where the sun is hot and the bodies even hotter.
But given this temptation, is it worth the risk of infection? Promoting awareness in a place where there is risky behavior is important in preventing HIV. The Lenten Season is a time for reflection, after all, not a time for infection. Take the HIV test. Party but play it safe.