A one-of-a-kind, equality ‘Tri-Pageant’ search has been launched in conjunction with the Department of Health (DOH)’s new campaign on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Miss International 2016 Kylie Versoza was chosen to act as the ambassador to lead the DOH’s LHIVE FREE awareness campaign to the general public.
Verzosa, the 26-year-old model from Baguio City, was chosen as the DOH believes in her status and influence and being able to provide the voice to dispel fear, anxiety, depression, and the stigma that comes with HIV and AIDS.
“It’s an honor to be a part of this campaign. Joining the DOH project at its face was easy. I would like to use my influence the best way I could to contribute and help advance the DOH achieve its goals,” said the beauty queen who is also an advocate for depression and suicide awareness.
“As we are aware, the condition does more than just destroy a person’s immune system, it also affects the psychological state of the person affected by it, not to mention his or her capability to earn a living, and the way that society would treat him or her. Their prejudices stem on lack of information about HIV. We need to fully inform the public, to arm them with a thorough understanding of the disease and its effects, physically, emotionally and psychologically. Making the public aware is the key, especially those who are at high risk,” Versoza said.
The DOH called upon individuals, men, women and transwomen, to join the three-way pageant to select the department’s new set of HIV/AIDS advocacy ambassadors.
“The LHIVE FREE Redvocates is a search for individuals who are willing to be champions of this campaign, who like Ms. Versoza, will help spread significant information on HIV and AIDS and promote safe sex with the goal of preventing new cases,” Sec. Francisco Duque said.
“As we speak, HIV cases continue to rise and the worst part is many of these cases are among those who are afraid to be tested. We want to correct this wrong information about the virus, to give hope, to make them stop being afraid to get tested, that there is a big chance to live a normal life even if you are HIV positive,” Duque explained.
Led by acclaimed pageant trainer and event director Rodgil Flores, the REDVOCATES: Search for 2018 HIV & AIDS Advocacy Ambassadors, will have thirty official candidates which will bring together people of different sexual orientations (Male, Female and Transwoman), into a landmark event of Love, Purpose and Equality. The three winners will become the official DOH HIV & AIDS Ambassadors for the year 2018 to 2019 to spearhead the DOH’s LHIVE FREE HIV Awareness Campaign. The Finals Night will be held on Sept. 28.
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