Axell Lumiguen

Highlighting the passage of SOGIE Equality Bill, and recognition of HIV and AIDS conditions, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines - College of Communication Student Council (PUP-COC SC) conducted a forum with the title "Beauty Sleep: A Dream for the SOGIE Equality Law and HIV and AIDS Acceptance" at Charlie Del Rosario Building, PUP Main Campus, Sta. Mesa, Manila, March 17. 

The event featured three speakers that explained the topics each for SOGIE Equality Bill, HIV, and AIDS. 

File Photo

Miss Trans Global 2021 Albiean Revalde opened up the program by giving examples on how power dynamics, gender roles, SOGIESC spectrums, and gender-based violence exist in the country and how it was fueled and imprinted by factors within politics, culture, and society. 

HIV Counselor James Edward gave insights about the virus, starting with some few historical facts on how HIV has become rampant in Asia in 1984, emphasizing difference between HIV and AIDS, its non-detectable nature of until 21-90 days once contracted, and breaking its corresponding myths and misconceptions. 

Edward also expounded how it can be transmitted in various ways, and can be suppressed through regular intake of prescribed Anti-Retroviral Drugs (ARVs). 

Lastly, transgender Zoe Black, who is a person living with HIV (PLHIV), shared her experience when she got exposed to the virus and how she overcame it through ARVs in a span of five years. She also explained some common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and how it can be treated and prevented. Zoe also cited some sexual activities and how risky they are in getting STIs. 

This program was first out of the three initiatives of PUP-COC SC's month long celebration and discourse about women and LGBTQIA+ community with the theme "Pillow Fight: Women and LGBTQIA+ Community Rights", with the second and third events occurring on March 24 and 31, respectively.