Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was named as the new Goodwill Ambassador of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Asia-Pacific on May 3. This is a fitting title, given the beauty queen’s winning answer when she said that she wants to pursue her AIDS advocacy, winning her the 2015 title.
As to why Wurtzbach was chosen, Steve Kraus, UNAIDS Director for Asia and the Pacific, said, “Pia has been brave and honest about speaking about young people and those too often left in the margins of society – men having sex with men (MSMs), transgenders, sex workers… People who don’t have the same opportunities in life need champions who have been for them and with them.
Recalling Wurtzbach’s winning answer, she said:
“To be a Miss Universe is both an honor and responsibility. If I were to be Miss Universe, I will use my voice to influence the youth and I would raise awareness to certain causes like HIV awareness that is timely and relevant to my country which is the Philippines. I want to show the world, the universe rather, that I am confidently beautiful with a heart. Thank you.”
Wurtzbach would share the same responsibilities given to other UNAID ambassadors, such as Victoria Beckham Aung Sun Su Kyi, Aishawarya Rai, Norway’s Crown Princess Mette Marit, and Princess Stephanie of Monaco, among others, according to a Facebook post by the beauty queen’s trainer, Jonas Gaffud.
But a few days after this piece of good news was reported, another story also made it to Facebook. It is still something in the same line as Wurtzbach’s involvement with her HIV advocacy, but it claims that the beauty queen is giving away female condoms.
It turns out the story was actually around since December last year. It was published by aloncdy.blogspot.com with the title “Ms. Universe Pia Wurtzbach Starts Giving Female Condoms for HIV Awareness.”
The netizens reacted to the story differently.
Some posted a link to a Mayo Clinic article about how unreliable female condoms are as supposed protection for women against HIV/AIDS.
Others opposed Wurtzbach’s supposed action involving condoms because of their pro-life stance.
We tried to trace the story’s origin. Although it was published by thenewsph.com, the original source of the story is aloncdy.blogspot.com.
The blogger, Alon Calinao Dy, wrote: “Reports say that Wurtzbach and Department of Health (DOH) are looking for a way to stop the trend on HIV/AIDS in the country by giving not only male condoms but female condoms as well for people who are sexually active.”
The part about Dy saying that Wurtzbach did call for help in raising HIV/AIDS awareness through her Instagram is true.
No excuses!! I wanna see your photos! TAG ME & I will collect them and repost as a video! How’s that? 😉 Palms up!! 🖐🖐🏼🖐🏾🖐🏻🖐🏿 🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺🔺Join in and support #WorldAidsDay this Thursday December 1st. All you have to do is take a photo with a word or short phrase written on the palm of your hand summarizing a method to strengthen HIV prevention efforts. Use #HIVPrevention, #WorldAidsDay and @MissUniverse. | @UNAids, @GMHC
However, we could not find any other reports confirming Dy’s claim about Wurtzbach giving away female condoms. It would have been alright if he wrote that this is one of the solutions that the beauty queen is considering right now, but his blog’s headline already claimed that Wurtzbach has started giving away female condoms last December. It certainly didn’t happen so his story was fake news.
When she was appointed as UNAIDS ambassador, Wurtzbach said that she is hoping for the lowering of the age of consent for HIV testing in the Philippines.
“(This is) so that more people can get themselves tested. Right now, the age is 18. Come on, realistically, we all start having sex much younger than that,” Wurtzbach said.
“The law should mirror what’s going on outside. Let’s try not to pretend we’re still living in 1900s. Hopefully, we’ll get to see some progress very soon,” she added.
Wurtzbach also urged everyone to get tested and to educate themselves about the available preventive measures against sexually transmitted disease.
“I’m not an expert on this. I don’t have the cure… The thing is, I’m a messenger. I spread awareness. I put the ideas for you guys to decide on what to do with the information,” the beauty queen said.
“What I really want to do is to make people aware that it can happen to anybody. Literally, everyone in this room can get it including me if we’re not careful, if we don’t know the preventive measures. Please get yourself tested,” Wurtzbach added.
Be Informed. Beat the Trolls, Share the Truth!