Our favorite Miss Universe winner has always been vocal about her advocacy for AIDS awareness. Answering the make-or-break question about how she would use her influence as Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach said she would “raise awareness to certain causes like HIV.” Since then, she has walked the talk.
— APICHA Health (@APICHAHealth) June 20, 2016
Apart from getting herself tested in 2016, Pia Wurtzbach has been nominated as the new UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for Asia Pacific. In this role, she has led HIV awareness talks and attended events to shed light on the condition and bust some common myths about it. Using the hashtag #Live2Luv, Pia hopes to normalize HIV testing and help people share stories about how they cope with living with HIV daily. The ultimate goal, she says, is to completely eradicate HIV and AIDS by 2030.
Today is National HIV Testing Day. Today is a reminder to get tested and take care of not only your health, but your love ones’ health too. ❤️ Visit aids.gov to learn more. Take that first step. Take Control. Get Tested.
A post shared by Pia Wurtzbach | Miss Universe (@piawurtzbach) on
But how does Pia plan to raise awareness about such a taboo topic? Pia is aware of her significant social media impact and intends to use it for the cause. “Just one post of mine reaches millions of people. With that alone, I know I’m doing my part.”
Apart from eliminating the stigma against people living with HIV, Pia is pushing for lowering the minimum age for HIV testing. Currently, an individual must be at least 18 years old to get tested with parental consent. Pia understands that teenagers are beginning to have sex at a younger age and feels this age requirement discourages them from getting tested. She hopes to lower the age to 16, or even 15, if it can be pushed. Pia has expressed that she will get tested again in the coming months and insists that getting tested is the first step to preventing the spread of HIV. She repeats, “the danger is in not knowing.”
When asked for a message for people living with HIV, Pia Wurtzbach broke out in a classic Michael Jackson tune, much to the audience’s amusement. “My message is that, you are not alone, I am here with you.”
Speaking on a more serious note, Pia added, “You have a whole community to back you up. It is possible to live a normal, healthy life even if you have HIV. What’s important is that you know your status and you get yourself the right treatment. You can live a long and healthy life and still have a partner, still enjoy going out.”
“It won’t be a walk in the part. You’ll still get people who have something to say, but it’s all part of life and it doesn’t matter. You aren’t the only one going through this. There are millions of people going through it, unfortunately. But the good news is, you’ll have someone to talk to if you just reach out. Don’t hide, don’t be scared. Have a little bit of courage and step out. Help will be given to you.”
What do you think about Pia’s cause? Share your thoughts in the comments!