December 12, 2012
The Dangal Pride National Network, a Philippine-based alliance of 23 gay, bisexual, and transgender groups, is asking President Aquino and his cabinet members to voluntarily test for HIV to help reduce the stigma associated with HIV testing. According to Jonas Bagas, Dangal National Network president, many individuals are embarrassed to be tested for HIV. Teresita Marie Bagasao, country representative of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, also supported the appeal of Bagas, stating that some sort of action is needed since only 25 percent of Filipinos who do test return to receive their results. She also noted that by having himself tested, the President would make a great impact on those sectors of the public who discriminate against individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS.