In an age where “viral” is a word that we toss around mindlessly, it is ironic that we’re still not open about the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV.

From January to March of this year alone, over 2,160 individuals aged 15‑34 have contracted the virus, according to Department of Health data sent to journalists by LoveYourself, Inc. There are more than 30 Filipinos who are diagnosed with HIV everyday and majority of that set comes from the youth sector. It’s a real health concern that nobody should hide from.

Here’s how you can move out of the shadow of doubt and take that first step for free.

LoveYourself, in cooperation with TestMNL, a spinoff of Thailand’s TestBKK which is funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, is mounting an event called Let’s TestMNL. It will provide free, fast and confidential HIV screening for men this Sunday, May 28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Victoria Court Malate.

It’s a test you really need to take.

It makes use of a new process that’s quick and completely anonymous. Bonus: It won’t hurt.

Art Samantha Gonzales

Make sure to register to join the event.

Ignorance is bliss, they say, but trust us: it’s a smart move to get tested.