By: Tricia Aquino, InterAksyon.com | Video courtesy of The Red Whistle
December 11, 2015 12:23 AM
On December 1, World AIDS Day, advocacy organization The Red Whistle conducted a social experiment in Davao City to see how much people know about Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which is the cause of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Through “The Cupcake Test”, two actors played persons living with HIV and gave away cupcakes that they had baked to passersby, in celebration of the annual event.
Many refused the free food politely, making excuses such as, “I don’t like sweets. I will get diabetes.”
One acted busy, while another said he believed that HIV could be transmitted through food.
One woman, with her child, got a cupcake, but only because she did not hear what the actor was saying.
Asked how she would feel if she found out that the person who gave the cupcake away had HIV, she replied, “Suddenly, I feel worried about my life. And the disease.”
According to The Red Whistle, stigma plays a big part in preventing HIV cases from being reported.
“Many fear getting tested for HIV, because they’re afraid that people will discriminate them should they test positive. And with misconceptions about HIV and AIDS still prevalent, more undocumented people will fall through the cracks – never accessing treatment and support necessary to fight the disease,” the organization said in a press release.
The lack of knowledge continues to fuel stigma and ostracism of people living with HIV, it added.
Fortunately, there was one bright spot during the experiment. A woman stated that the public should not judge a person who is living with HIV, and that they should “be more proactive when it comes to AIDS.”
Watch the video by The Red Whistle, together with learning centers Virtualahan and Supreme Support Service. “Sharing food does not spread HIV,” the video states. “But ignorance can. Be aware. Stop the stigma. Together, we can end HIV.”