Supporting Filipinos living with HIV during COVID-19

Benedict Bernabe, The Red Whistle Foundation | Awardee, Australia Awards Scholarships

2020 Bernabe Benedict Photo.jpgSupporting Filipinos living with HIV during COVID-19

Benedict Bernabe
Australia Awards Scholarships 2012
Master of Development Studies, University of Melbourne
President, The Red Whistle Foundation

Australia Awards alumnus Benedict Bernabe is leading The Red Whistle Foundation’s Oplan #ARVayanihan – an initiative that provides people living with HIV access to life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) drugs amid the community quarantine. Oplan #ARVayanihan offers free ARV delivery service to HIV patients who are having a hard time getting their ARV refills due to restrictions of the quarantine. The Red Whistle Foundation partnered with MapBeks, an online LGBTI mapping community, to create the #ARVayanihan map of all treatment hubs and primary HIV care facilities across the Philippines. In partnership with UNAIDS, TLF-SHARE and Angkas, the foundation has mobilised a pool of 40 volunteers to collect ARV therapy refills from treatment hubs and deliver them to HIV patients across the country.

Ben Story.png

Quotation Image-01.png

I make the most out of this time to help others as much as I can with the help of our amazing volunteers. During the first few weeks of the lockdown, I was up all night, every night – not because of anxiety but because of overthinking as I thought of ways to maximise our network and our resources to help our community.

When people who have less in life still find a way to help others, it moves and inspires me to do more. There are many stories like these and I always seek them out.

It's comforting to be with family (including pets) during this time of grave public health concern and I find myself lucky to be in this position. I count my blessings everyday.

Quotation Image right 01.png

Learn more about Ben’s initiative here