#SaveSexy City Events!
#SaveSexy first took place in 2014 on Labor Day weekend in Boracay as a small-scale guerrilla-type HIV awareness campaign, targeting the hundreds of youth who have flocked the island. It felt like wasted opportunity to not to do anything at a time when a great number of the target audience is all on one island! Eight volunteers came equipped with 40 #SaveSexy tank tops, boxes of condoms, packs of lubes and red whistles. The goal was to infiltrate the hippest parties in Boracay, educate the youth, give out free merchandise and spread the word on HIV.
With each year the campaign grew bigger. In 2015, the number of shirts distributed had grown from 40 to 400; and the volunteers from eight to more than 30. In 2016 more than 1,000 shirts and about 500 “Safety Kits”, including condoms and lubes, were distributed. The merchandise was used as incentive for those who attend our volunteers’ “HIV 101” lectures. Soon people got curious why a swarm of youth was wearing the same shirt, and everyone wanted in on the movement.
Photos from #SaveSexy City Events
In late 2016, through the partnership with Save The Children, other organizations, partners and local government units, we successfully replicated the #SaveSexy Boracay event in other cities and by this time we were able to introduce community based testing. By November, the campaign had spread to Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa and Taguig educating an approximate 20,000 youths . During “Sinulog Festival” week in January 2017, we reached Cebu City and was able to provide 425 free HIV testing to the youth. We had no idea how the public would react at first but surprisingly, the volume of people who wanted to be tested had gotten so big, we just had to stop at a given time. About 2,000 individuals got tested from November 2016 to January 2017. In Zamboanga, the total number of people tested in one day equaled the number of tests done in three months. Screenings were done out in the open, like a medical mission. We wanted to prove a point: Getting tested is not and should not be a taboo.
The Philippines is facing an alarming rise in HIV cases among the youth. While the number of Filipinos getting tested is growing cases among the youth. While the number of Filipinos getting tested is growing, undocumented HIV-related deaths have also risen. HIV remains an “invisible epidemic” the impact of which is largely underestimated. There is insufficient understanding for risks involving HIV transmission, aggravated by the stigma that comes with it.
The #SaveSexy Squad will be heading to Davao this coming March, Marikina in April and Boracay during Labor Day weekend! See you all there!
Watch the #Savesexy City Events 2016 video here!
To see the list of upcoming events please check us out on Facebook
For #SaveSexy Laboracay 2017 registration, click #SaveSexy Laboracay 2017