Plays to #CelebrateLife as December 1st is World Aids Day🎀🎗️

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Together - let us end the stigma.

It was an honour to witness Cebuano talents last night during #kulukabildo: Stories to End the Stigma and Celebrate life.

And boy did I learn so much from the plays I was priveleged enough to [watch, see, witness] experience.

Here is my takeaway: Just like any other medical diagnosis out there, HIV-AIDS should have the same response from the public (ie when people get cancer so much love pour in and prayers are said but when people have HIV we are all quick to say "that is your fault, or in Bisaya, na mirisi).

So instead of extending empathy we roll our eyes with judgment and bring much shame to those people who are diagnosed with HIV-AIDS just because we are so close-minded and we quickly blame the people who are diagnosed with it that "they are this and that". The domino effect of this is: people are afraid to come out anymore and get tested because of the shame that the "critical judgemental public eye" has casted towards them. End result? Instead of more lives are saved, more lives are lost - because infected people choose to not get tested, not get treated than to suffer the shame that their neighbors and their families.

We have to end that shame - this stigma - because how funny it is that we as a "Christian nation" put out the "religion card" when it is easy (IE topics about divorce, abortion etcetera) but when things get hard and get messy we do are not Christian-like anymore. Basic Bibical truths: Love God and love your neighbor.

Let me ask you - where is your love for your neighbor when you judge them just because you are not comfortable or just because this issue does not necessarily "affect you and only affects others". But don't you get it? This is a community issue just like any issues(!!)

When I watched the four plays yesterday I felt really sorry for the characters who were tested positive with HIV-AIDS - how all hope is gone. There was this play "Ang Mga Bangkang Papel NI Paulo" -there was a scene when the father was asked by his child why he did not work anymore, and he told his child he got HIV-AIDS. He got it when he was in the hospital, nursing after an accident - the blood transfused to him (to help him get back to life, which was ironic) had HIV, so that's why he got it. (Aside from coitus, there are other ways a person can get HIV: illicit injection drug use or sharing needles, contact with infected blood, or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding)

To be honest I had this judgemental attitude about people with HIV-AIDS because the way society has raised me: the projection was that "these people deserve this so why be sorry for them". I am so sorry for thinking this way. :'-(( My views about the topic shifted earlier this year when my sister Sway joined a pageant where they championed the campaign about HIV-AIDS.

Yesterday was powerful because it had shown me the realities of lives who are dealing with HIV-AIDS.

The message is clear: It would not hurt us to extend empathy to people who are tested positive with HIV. We need to stop blaming so-and-so and instead, with radical love, break the stigma that is revolving around this "problematic societal issue". It is high time to stop treating our neighbors as outcasts just because we heard from so-and-so that they got HIV-AIDS. Don't we realize that our judgements might cause these very people their lives?

Another message: Everyone needs to get tested, because this creates 1. A safe non-judgemental space for all and 2. It opens healthy dialogues that we need to combat the even deadlier than this Virus: humanity's old-backtrack ways of being judgemental and lack of compassion to fellow human beings.

#LetsEndTheStigma


For the best experience view this post on Liketu



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