DOH launches HIV/AIDS advocacy via pageant
MANILA, Philippines – To continue its campaign on HIV/AIDS awareness, the Department of Health (DOH) launched a pageant in search of 3 potential spokespersons to help them spread the message.
The "LHIVE Free Redvocates" – the 2018 search for HIV/AIDS advocacy ambassadors – will choose a male, a female, and a transwoman as spokespersons.
At the competition launch on August 2, Dr Jose Gerard Belimac, DOH Philippine National AIDS Council program manager, said that the department has worked on a communications plan on spreading HIV and AIDS awareness, which includes holding a pageant.
"As well all know, the Filipinos are very fond of pageantry, and we know that our winning beauty queens have a very influential even all across genders. So we support them (DOH) in this strategic in selecting the next ambassadors," he said.
To help the DOH spread the message, Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa was tapped to be a spokesperson and ambassador of the cause. Events director and Kagandahang Flores founder Rodgil Flores will serve as director and trainer of the candidates.
Verzosa, a mental health advocate, said she is honored to be tapped for the cause, saying people with HIV/AIDS also go through mental health issues.
"It's very important for a beauty queen or for someone to have the opportunity to speak or lend their voice to certain causes, especially something like HIV, which is very relevant now in the Philippines today. It's very important to speak more about it to raise awareness for more people to know about it," she said.
Flores said: "When it was offered to me, I readily said yes because as we all know, we Filipinos are the number one pageant fans and of course, with the help of the pageant fans, the can send the message of what Lhive Free Redavocates search for the next HIV/AIDS ambassadors message."
The contest is open to candidates aged 20 to 26, who have good communication skills, and are passionate about the cause.
Chosen candidates will undergo extensive training under Flores' watch, with workshops from the DOH.
Applications for the contest can be downloaded at www. redavocatespageant.com. Competition is scheduled on September 28 at the SMX Convention Center. – Rappler.com