While most of you enjoyed the long Labor Day weekend partying in Boracay and the like, HIV organization The Red Whistle was busy doing something completely different.
From April 29 to May 1, the group mobilized their team of volunteers to compete against each other to achieve on goal: educating the youth on HIV and AIDS. Three teams of six members each were formed as part of their first annual #SaveSexy Lifeguards Laboracay Race! Nice.
The 3 teams, cleverly named Aware (#SaveSexyAware), Courage (#SaveSexyCourage), and Protect (#SaveSexyProtect), were deployed at Stations 1,2, and 3 where they each approached beachgoers to raise awareness on how on how we can prevent HIV, as well as the importance of knowing our status through regular HIV testing.
“Our #SaveSexy campaign is all about teaching the youth to be conscious of their sexual health and HIV status, be confident about their bodies enough to protect it, and be comfortable discussing about sexual health,” says Evan Tan, Administrative Head of The Red Whistle. “With this campaign in mind, we developed the #SaveSexy Lifeguards Laboracay Race. We know that Boracay during Labor Day weekend is a great time to talk to young people about our campaign, since our message is very celebratory and positive — something which we know won’t scare them off.”
The teams encouraged the young people who were educated to post about the campaign on social media through their Instagram accounts, using the hashtag #SaveSexy or their team’s own hashtags – #SaveSexyAware, #SaveSexyProtect, and #SaveSexyCourage. The team #SaveSexyAware, which got the most people to post their assigned hashtags on Instagram, won the race.
To wrap up the joyous and successful activity, about 300 people joined the march from Bombom bar at Station 2 to Sur at Station 1, wearing their #SaveSexy t-shirts. The best part about it was that those 300 people were all tourists who were simply educated by the volunteers. It’s really great to see more people understand and fight for this cause.
The event was also promoted by celebrities such as Solenn Heussaff, Tom Rodriguez, Dominic Roque, Kaye Abad, and Derek Ramsay. The event has received more than 2.6 million impressions online, as reported by social media analytics platform Keyhole.co. Hopefully, more and more people will be educated about HIV and AIDS that they will really properly understand it.
The race, supported by the UNAIDS and HIV advocacy group SHIP Foundation, was powered by location-based casual adventure mobile game application Cyburban. It was sponsored by Bench/ Body, 2GO Travel, Premiere Condoms, LG, Vita Coco, Neutrogena, BLKSMTH, and KKK Coffee. Epic Boracay hosted the group’s after-party which flew in top international DJ Sander Van Doorn.
The #SaveSexy Lifeguards Laboracay Race precedes this year’s National HIV Testing Week, happening on May 11-15, and the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, on May 17.
About The Red Whistle (www.theredwhistle.com)
Pioneering HIV advocacy group The Red Whistle was established in 2011 as a response to the alarming rise of HIV cases in the Philippines. Since then, it has become a collaborative platform for artists, individuals, and groups to come together and raise HIV and AIDS awareness in the country. We are also a crucial agent and partner for brands to support the HIV and AIDS advocacy here in the Philippines.
The Red Whistle is a partner of the UNAIDS and the SHIP Foundation, which does grassroots level HIV advocacy through HIV testing and counseling. The organization is also a member of the Network to Stop AIDS Philippines.