feat0

Positive Pinoy: my personal journey with HIV.

I was diagnosed last March 29, 2012 in a time that I was supposed to leave the country in a couple more weeks. I had my medical exam, and the result returned POSITIVE. From then on, my journey with HIV began.

Read More
feat2

What's New?: gateway to useful links on local and international news and updates about HIV.

A summary collection of medical articles, research news, and science breakthroughs on HIV/AIDS, STIs, and other related diseases.

Read More
feat3

HIV 101: Basic information for the newly-diagnosed.

Understand the basics, know the facts, and take care of yourself. This section contains basic information about HIV/AIDS.

Read More
feat4

Social Media: going viral against HIV/AIDS and other STIs.

The entrance of social media in spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS has gone viral. Famous personalities and the common man alike showed their support not just to HIV education but also with regards to the lives and struggles of the LGBT community.

Read More
feat5

Health Events: listing of wellness and advocacy events for HIV-positive individuals and friends.

This section contains a summary listing of knowledge-sharing events on HIV, mass HIV testing, and other wellness events that will strengthen the overall health of HIV-positive individuals.

Read More

69) A different way of coming out: young designer comes out as HIV positive (Yahoo! News)



A different way of coming out: young fashion designer comes out as HIV positive
(Source: Yahoo! News, July 3, 2013)

Fresh from pulling out design samples at a posh retail store in upscale Makati district, a promising fashion designer is coming out. And by coming out, we don't mean his sexual preference. 



“I’m Ryan. I’m HIV positive and I love myself,” declared the 26-year-old person living with HIV (PLHIV) in a cheerful tone.

In a video produced by Love Yourself, a Manila-based organization focusing on HIV education and prevention, Ryan came forward not to brave ridicules but to deliver his advocacy: to increase voice against the virus.

While he joins the rest of 11,702 Filipinos living with HIV since the first reported case in 1984 until 2012, the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde’s School of Design and Arts graduate dreams of an inclusive society where everyone can live free from prejudice and misinformation.

As recent cases show that HIV becomes widespread among younger victims, the Philippines becomes one of the only 7 remaining countries where HIV has increased by over 25%, according to UNAIDS’ 2010 Global AIDS Report.

The day he knew he’s positive

When he was about to graduate, the young Fashion Design scholar from the town of Silago in Southern Leyte thought of pursuing another talent he discovered from his internships locally and in the South East Asian region.

“In 2008, I was required to undergo a medical exam upon my enrollment… I was quite confident (of the result) when I took the medical exam. When I returned to the clinic after two days, the doctor said, "Ryan, don't be shocked... You're HIV positive,” he related.

Out of fear that he’d discover something scary out of his normal life, Ryan ignored the result and went on with what he likes most—designing—here and in the Middle East where he had a short stint as fashion designer at Chantella Haute Couture in Al Ain, a sub-city in Dubai, upon recommendation of renowned Manila and Los Angeles-based Filipino designer Rocky Gathercole. 

He was however eventually forced to leave because of United Arab Emirates’ existing policy on HIV.

Four years later, Ryan met Love Yourself.

“Last year I met Ryan, who came to me seeking for help because two of his friends just passed away mysteriously, one after the other,” Chris Lagman, Ryan’s counselor, narrated.