Two of Thailand’s gay celebrities are trying to get men to get tested for HIV.
According to HIV community network APCOM, a third of gay men in Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok are HIV-positive. On top of that, less than 50 percent of gay men across all of Asia know their HIV status.
In order to help raise awareness about HIV-testing, and just in time for World AIDS Day on December 1st, two gay celebrities are making viral videos.
Specifically, model Tu Jirat (Full name: Tudtu Jirat Watcharapornthanarat) and model/Mr. Gay World Thailand contestant Popeye (Full Name: Nathaphob Jongjitklang) have shined a spotlight on a new video challenge.
This viral video challenge called the “Taking It” campaign is set up similarly to the Ice Bucket Challenge that created awareness for ALS, or motor neuron disease, a few years back.
The two celebs have pledged to get tested before the first of December and have challenged their friends to do the same. They’ve also asked viewers to check out HIV-awareness program/site Test BKK for more information.
“Did you know that HIV testing is not that scary?” wrote Tu Jirat on his Facebook post according to GayStarNews.
Meanwhile, Popeye stated that he’s “taking care of himself” and wants others to do the same.
Despite these two celebrities shining a light on this new campaign and challenge, it’s creation wasn't their idea.
The "Taking It" campaign was created by APCOM and funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation. These organizations hope that the message of getting tested and knowing your status will spread not only in Thailand but in other countries like the Philippines and Indonesia.
“It’s a simple message but a lot of young gay men in Asia aren’t aware of HIV or don’t go for HIV tests” said Midnight Poonkasetwattana, the Executive Director of APCOM.
So, will you “Take it” before December and join the “Taking It” campaign?
h/t: GayStarNews, APCOM