Positive Pinoy: my personal journey with HIV.

I was diagnosed last March 29, 2012 in a time that I was supposed to leave the country in a couple more weeks. I had my medical exam, and the result returned POSITIVE. From then on, my journey with HIV began.

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A summary collection of medical articles, research news, and science breakthroughs on HIV/AIDS, STIs, and other related diseases.

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HIV 101: Basic information for the newly-diagnosed.

Understand the basics, know the facts, and take care of yourself. This section contains basic information about HIV/AIDS.

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Social Media: going viral against HIV/AIDS and other STIs.

The entrance of social media in spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS has gone viral. Famous personalities and the common man alike showed their support not just to HIV education but also with regards to the lives and struggles of the LGBT community.

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Health Events: listing of wellness and advocacy events for HIV-positive individuals and friends.

This section contains a summary listing of knowledge-sharing events on HIV, mass HIV testing, and other wellness events that will strengthen the overall health of HIV-positive individuals.

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1) How I Learned About The Painful Truth

                                                  photo taken from: http://www.added-value.com/source/2010/10/marketing-and-hiv/

January 2012.
After three years of working as a staff nurse, I was informed by my manager that she will process my promotion as assistant manager of our unit. I was ecstatic. After a hate-hate relationship with some managers in the hospital in the early years of my career, it became love-love a few years later. To be fair with the company, I was honest enough to inform them that I have a pending application abroad. I already passed the panel interview, and currently in the process of complying with all the requirements. Although there was no certainty as to the date of my deployment abroad (because of an internal problem in the agency), I still informed her of the possibility of me leaving the hospital any time soon.

Nevertheless, I was assigned as OIC in all my duty days in preparation for my promotion (and I can only feel glee inside; my managers trust me).

February 2012.
My visa arrived. I informed the agency, and they wanted me to finish complying all the requirements (pertinent documents, and my medical exam). Deep inside, I still did not want to resign. I enjoy being OIC. I still want to spend more time with my family in the province. Delaying tactics, done!

March 2012, first week.
The agency kept pressuring me to submit all my documents. They wanted me to be deployed on the last week of March. March 28, to be exact. I told them I wasn't ready yet. I still have to comply with the 30-day-notice of the hospital. They told me I don’t have a choice.

That same afternoon, with a heavy heart, I submitted my resignation letter.

March 2012, third week.
I have already completed all my required documents. And another good news: my deployment date was moved to April 12. Perfect, as it will give me enough time to go to the province to be with my family before flying abroad. Bu there is only one thing left to comply, my medical exam!

March 27, 2012.
I went to the accredited diagnostic clinic. It took me one whole day to finish everything. I felt so happy and productive. I was quite worried about my X-ray result, though, since I had cough during the day of the medical exam. Other than that, the other thing that worries me is how to budget my remaining two weeks: move out of my apartment, Manila tour of my siblings (I bought them airfare tickets already), we all fly back home to the province to spend at least three days with my family, pack my things, and head back to Manila two days before my scheduled flight abroad.

March 28, 2012.
I texted the agency if they already received my medical exam results from the clinic.  Thirty minutes later, I received a reply telling me to go back to the clinic because of a pending exam.

Uhm, I asked myself what went wrong. I checked my medical slip: no signature for the audiometry test. That must be it!

I texted an applicant whom I met in the clinic whose destination abroad is same as mine. She told me that the agency texted her that she is physically fit to work. More than that, she said there was no audiometry test. We were in the same line in all tests during the medical exam, we did not miss any single test.

I know that at the back of my mind, I worried that I might have Hepa B. A past relationship died January this year. I was informed it is because of liver abscess. I researched about Hepatits B over the net. Asymptomatic. Great! So only blood exam will tell. I refuse to think I have it because it will hinder my employment abroad.

Upon closing the windows in my laptop, I glanced upon the “You might also like:” portion of the showbiz site, showbiznest. The title: HIV Positive Wanggo Gallaga Faces Boy Abunda. And I said to myself, “Wow! Another sign!” Although I was convinced that I do not have HIV, a little part of me got worried. I also know for a fact that HIV is asymptomatic.

March 29, 2012.
I came to the clinic early because I was on PM shift that day. Although I arrived at 8AM, I was informed that the doctor arrives at 10AM. I was in the line together with those who have pending results. A few hours later, a staff called each one and assigned us to the units where we need to have ourselves rechecked. Some were assigned to X-ray. I thought I will be belonging to that group. I was not.

I was told to wait for the head med tech because of a pending blood exam.

I waited for what seemed like eternity when the med tech (Sir Roger) told me to come with him in his clinic.

He told me to sit, and then he introduced himself. He asked me where my destination is, the date of my deployment, etc. I answered April 12, and I have already resigned from my current employer for that reason. He then calmly told me that when he "run” my blood in one of the exam kits, there was a reaction. My blood reacted to a test, an HIV test. It was positive.

I was speechless. He asked me if I was alright. I didn't move. I didn’t say anything.

He then continued that what was did to me was just a screening test. What he will do now is to extract blood from me again, “run” it in the same kit, and another portion of the blood will be sent to DOH for confirmation.

He also informed me that he will text me personally if the results come out after around 3 to 4 weeks (added to the fact that Holy Week is approaching).

He then asked me again if I was alright. I said, yes. But to be honest, I was overwhelmed with all the emotions which came crashing down right at that moment. There was that fear of dying. There was that confusion as to what to tell my mother why I cannot go abroad. And there was also fear of unemployment.

And then, in a moment, I remembered during one review class about man's greatest fear: the fear of the UNKNOWN!

Currently have 6 comments:

  1. hey. i read your blog. send me an email. i need to tell you something... something amazing... :D iamhivpositivemanila@gmail.com

  2. ngayon ko lang ulit na-notice ang post mo dito. hehehe! thanks! really nice to know that there are kind people like you here.

  3. Excellent blog.I really likes your blog.It can help any information.
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  4. Alivar Kan: that's too much of a compliment, i'm deeply flattered. thank you so much. :-)

  5. i read your blog and been following you.

    stay healthy!!

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