HIV cases are rising rapidly and celebrities like actor Elijah Canlas and radio DJs Sam YG, Slick Rick, and TonyToni are weighing in on the issue
In the past few years, Filipinos have started opening up and talking about sex and how it is an important conversation to have in order to engage in safe, healthy, and satisfying sexual activities. But despite the inroads that have been made in normalizing conversations about sex, barriers remain when it comes to discussing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as the feelings of shame and stigma remain, which prevent people from accessing information and resources that can help them develop safe sex habits.
The lack of access and conversation contributes to the continued rise in the number of people who test HIV-positive in the country. July 2021 data from the HIV/AIDS & ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP) showed that 1,045 Filipinos tested HIV-positive while 60 people died of AIDS-related complications. This means 33 people tested positive every day from January to July 2021.
Targeted toward millennials and Gen Zs, singles, and stay-at-home couples, the SEXducated with Durex video series is a fun and creative treatment to lessons on practicing safe sex. The show gives light to HIV awareness and how to improve one’s overall sexual health.
“It’s part of our responsibility as a brand to empathize with our consumers’ needs and give them safe and practical solutions,” said Matt Davis, Reckitt marketing director. “Through SEXducated with Durex, we aim to provide a safe space and have a thoughtful discussion on topics that beg to be talked about.”
Singles and young people can learn from the boys of Boys Night Out (Sam YG, Slick Rick, and TonyToni) and Elijah Canlas as the four debunk HIV myths with hard facts. They can also learn from Dr. Kilimanguru, as he addresses need-to-know information about HIV. While couples can find ways to rekindle their relationships as they explore the topic of seeking pleasure through intimate acts with Dr. Rica Cruz.
Dr. Kilimanguru or Winston Kilimanjaro Tiwaquen is a doctor who gained fame on TikTok for his medical advice videos known for being easy to understand and entertaining because of his use of hugot lines and jokes. Through his videos, delivered in colloquial Filipino, viewers learn about the simplest medical issues from the common cold to HIV, and even COVID-19. Meanwhile Dr. Rica Cruz is a sexologist and media personality whose expertise is on sexual pleasure and sexual behaviors. Dr. Rica believes that sexual ownership is sexier than sex.
Enabling Filipinos to “Always Come Prepared,” Durex fulfills its role as a responsible brand through ongoing partnerships with various organizations. To date, Durex is distributing condoms to the beneficiaries of the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM), San Lazaro Hospital – Nagasaki University Collaborative Research and Laboratory, Positive Action Foundation Philippines Incorporated (PAFPI), Pasig City Government, Sustained Health Initiatives of the Philippines (SHIP), The Red Whistle, and LoveYourself, Inc.
The need to connect is very human and so is the need for open conversation about something as natural as sex. And with the isolation possibly triggering more intense feelings, it’s important to protect oneself from risks that can be otherwise prevented.