Leaders, artists, celebrities unite versus HIV/AIDS
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - December 1, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Now in its fifth year of HIV and AIDS advocacy, Headshot Clinic intensifies the use of distinctive profile photos on social networking sites to shout out the netizens’ support for HIV prevention and stigma reduction.

This year, Niccolo Cosme, celebrity photographer and founder of Headshot Clinic, is convening Headshot Clinic “Unite” 2012, which will bring together advocates from across the world in support of the UNAIDS vision of “zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.” The photo exhibits are launched online on Dec. 1, in observance of World AIDS Day.

The Philippines needs to take urgent action to address the country’s HIV epidemic, which has been described as “fast and furious.” Statistics from the Department of Health show that young people aged 20 to 29 are at higher risk of HIV infection. While other countries have shown a decreasing trend in the number of new HIV infections, the Philippines is among nine countries in the world which has recorded an increase of more than 25 percent. The other countries are: Bangladesh, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, and Sri Lanka.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines, together with Indonesia and Sri Lanka, is categorized as having an expanding epidemic, with increasing trends in the number of new infections, the number of people living with HIV, and the number of reported AIDS-related deaths.

Wide range

Headshot Clinic “Unite “brings together a wide range of people who are passionate about their advocacy on HIV and AIDS — celebrities, political leaders, people living with HIV, bloggers, artists, advocates, activists, etc. This year’s exhibit will feature friends and supporters from the Philippines, US (San Francisco and New York), Australia (Melbourne), Italy (Rome and Florence) France (Paris) — all of whom are united in calling for personal as well as collective action on HIV.

Selected photos from the Headshot Clinic gallery will be exhibited at the Philippine Senate this December, with the exhibit launch scheduled on Dec. 3. Headshots from the previous years, as well as this year’s photos, will highlight the commitment of government officials, celebrities, artists, civil society leaders, and people living with HIV to intensify the country’s response to the challenge of HIV and AIDS.

The photos on exhibit include those of House Speaker Sonny Belmonte, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, Sen. Pia Cayetano, Commission on Human Rights chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales, Ogie Alcasid, Boy Abunda, Rico Blanco, Jake Cuenca, Pepe Smith, Gretchen Barreto, Gelli de Belen, Risa Hontiveros, Wanggo Gallaga, and others.  You may view the exhibit at the 2nd floor lobby of the Senate from Dec. 3 till Dec. 14. For this year’s exhibit at the Senate, Headshot Clinic is working in partnership with the office of Sen. Pia Cayetano, the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.

All Headshot Clinic photos will be released online on the eve of World AIDS Day and are to be used as primary profile pics on social network sites. On World AIDS Day, December 1, we will all be united with themed headshots for a World responding affirmatively to HIV and AIDS.

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Visit www.headshotclinic.com.


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