#Qtalks: Online Support for PLHIVs During Pandemic

By August 25, 2021 Newsroom, Regional

Contributor :
The Philippines

Quarantalks or #Qtalks is an online community for PLHIVs predominantly from Twitter. It was created during the first quarter of pandemic, in April 2020, for a few friends and online acquaintances to reconnect with one another. The membership organically grew and evolved into an online support group.

The community-led platform was created by advocate Grey from Cagayan de Oro and initially joined by his Twitter-based network of friends and acquaintance. Using the Zoom platform, they started gathering intermittently to celebrate shared milestones and check up on one another. By Oct 2020, as the uncertain times brought by covid 19 grew longer and started taking its toll on the mental health of its participants, the gathering has become a weekly habit.

The feeling of isolation due to months of physical and social distancing and Work From Home situation were the primary reasons why the group came about. As the connection of the group deepened it became a source of emotional support even away from the social media platform. From an unstructured virtual get-together, #QTalks has evolved to handle topical discussions every week that concerned various areas of PHLIV life and at times invited resources person to speak on such as issues on mental health, unloading emotions, self-development and sexual heath. The community has also become a venue where members can share inspirational stories with newly-diagnosed PLHIV, discuss roles in the community and a lot more. 

At present the online community is very much visible in Twitter Spaces every Wednesday and Zoom by invitation during weekends. The goal is to inform more PLHIV about living positively and changing the mindset, of course that this journey should be more meaningful if we go through it together as a community.

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