Pia Wurtzbach is new advocate for HIV awareness
MANILA, Philippines – Prominent personalities and other HIV/AIDS awareness advocates took to social media on Monday, December 21, to praise Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach for her answer during the Q and A portion of the pageant.
Asked why she deserved the crown during the final question-and-answer round, Wurtzbach answered: “To be a Miss Universe is both an honor and a responsibility. If I were to be Miss Universe, I will use my voice to influence the youth, and I will raise awareness... [of] certain causes like HIV [and other issues that are] timely and relevant to my country.”
Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas said he was thankful Wurtzbach mentioned “HIV as a crisis in the Philippines.”
Richard Gordon, CEO of the Philippine Red Cross, also sent a congratulatory tweet commending her victory and advocacy. (LISTEN: INFOGRAPHIC: HIV epidemic in the Philippines)
LADLAD, a national organization campaigning for LGBT issues, thanked Wurtzbach for “shouting to the whole universe about the HIV issue.”
UNAIDS Asia-Pacific congratulated Wurtzbach and thanked her for being an advocate.
LoveYourself Inc, a group in the Philippines advocating for HIV/AIDS awareness also congratulated Wurtzbach, and called her “our newest advocate for HIV awareness.”
HIV/AIDS cases in the Philippines have been rising among groups like gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM), as well as places such as Cebu.
In May 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the Philippines had the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world. In November, the Department of Health (DOH) said one HIV case is detected every hour in 2015.
MovePH, Rappler’s citizen engagement arm, has been working with various organizations to promote HIV/AIDS awareness.
LoveYourself and DM9 Jayme Syfu were MovePH’s partners in launching the #StayNegatHIVe campaign, which involves 3 components: sharing information, encouraging HIV testing, and spreading the word.
During World AIDS Day on December 1, 2015, MovePH had an online conversation while Rappler shared stories and data on HIV/AIDS in the Philippines. – Rappler.com
HIV/AIDS is a problem in many communities – both rural and urban - across the Philippines. Responding to our communities' concern about the issue, Rappler’s MovePH is launching a campaign to promote awareness on the issue. Follow our stories through the hashtags #StayNegatHIVe #LivePositive