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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What's New?: gateway to useful links on local and international news and updates about HIV.

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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3) Bits and Pieces

my pre-HIV pic

I created Pinoy Positive in facebook, twitter, and blogspot with the purpose of having support system as I start living as an HIV-positive individual. Since I haven’t disclosed my status to my family and close friends, I find it best to ventilate my thoughts and feelings in these social networking sites, and at the same time, get to interact with my fellow pozzies and share about our experiences. And I’m thankful for all the heads up, encouragement, and care.

It has only been one week, but I have “cybermet” several pozzies already. It’s also helpful to read their blogs as well. There’s one from the same province where I live, so we basically share information about our hub, the census in our province, etc. He has been living with HIV for more than two years, AND still without ARVs (galling, di ba?). And there’s another one I have known three years ago. Small world we are in, really.

I have been melodramatic in my blog entries, and others that have read asked for my background. There are several others from twitter who asked as well.

So here are bits and pieces of me…

  • I watch Friends, Sex and the City, Coupling, Queer as Folk, and Desperate Housewives over and over and over again (No life, di ba?).
  • I was supposed to take Med. Tech. as a pre-med course, but my older brother took Med. Tech. so I thought of settling with Biology. Almost all the courses in UP are quota courses, so when I passed their Psychology program, I decided to pursue with it instead.
  • I was a member of a fraternity and a theater group back in college (an early battle between my masculine and not-so-masculine side. Hehehe!).
  • I have three siblings: two brothers and a sister. I have four older stepbrothers, and two younger stepbrothers (masyadong masipag father namin. Hehehe!).
  • I love travelling around the country. Whenever I have travel plans, I would work six days straight, travel for three days, then back to work again. There were also times that I go straight to the airport after my night duty, spend two days in the province, then fly back to Manila just in time for another night duty (patayan!).
  • Standing at 5’9, there was a time when I weighed more than 200lbs. I got into gym and a diet program, my lightest was 150+. But now, since I’m still a little bit depressed, my weight went up (haha! Bwisit!).
  • I dabbled into running to lose weight. I started with 5km on my first try. Before my 2nd year, the farthest I’ve ran is 32km. I have participated in trail runs in Rizal (Merrel), and Tagaytay (Xterra).
  • Because of group buying sites, I got to eat buffet in several different restaurants/hotels. Hence, the weight gain. 

And for some serious stuff…

  • An ex-partner died January this year because of liver abscess. I easily thought he had Hepa B so I had myself checked; negative! But right now that I’m positive for HIV, I suspect that I might have gotten the virus from him.
  • Being a nurse or any healthcare staff does not guarantee compliance to safe sex.
  • Co-workers claim that I never looked sick. The past year when I had fever of 39 degrees, I went to the hospital’s clinic and had my check up (I suspected dengue, but turned out negative). I passed by our unit to file my two-day sick leave, my co-workers jokingly said, I was just playing sick.
  • The longest period that I was absent from work is 7 days: sore eyes!
  • So after discovering that I have HIV, I oftentimes look at myself in the mirror and furiously ask, “Is this the face of HIV? Is this the face of someone sick?” I had no symptoms back then. Now I have swollen lymph nodes (pero hindi naman din kse visible on the outside).
  • I had excision biopsy of lymph nodes mid-May because my family fears that I may have cancer. Histopathology result is not yet released (inefficiency of the hospital; it has been more than two weeks as of this writing; they promised 7-10 working days).

No love is ever worth the risk of acquiring the virus. If you love each other, wear protection. If you love each other even more, get tested!

Currently have 14 comments:

  1. I found a great friend in you! Always keep writing and remember that i am always here for you, and so are our VIRAL BROTHERS!!!

  2. thanks! same here! hahaha! viral brothers talaga?!? ac tually, hindi na nga ako nakakahabol sa mga pinag-uusapan nyo sa twitter. but i'm happy to get to know fellow pozzies there! :-)

  3. Hi pinoypositive?

    San yung mga swollen lymph nodes mo?

  4. it's in my neck. it's not visible, but they are palpable.

  5. do you have palpable lymph nodes in your biceps?

  6. none. i've read in an online journal that it's more common in the neck area. but lymph nodes, especially if inflamed, can also be palpable in the armpit region and the thighs.

  7. san ba province mo?

  8. in the visayas. you can email me if you want: pinoypositive@gmail.com

    keep safe always. :-)

  9. Hi PinoyPositive,

    Is that diagnosed as lymphadenopathy? I'm also an HIV positive for 3 years already. And andami ko lymph nodes na sa neck area. From what I researched, it's one of the early signs of HIV. So I'm not really bothered. Pero minsan I was thinking of having it removed. Mind sharing how much yung procedure?

  10. Yes, lymphadenopathy. After my biopsy, the final diagnosis is reactive follicular hyperplasia. ruled out naman ang cancer. ano hub mo? better if you consult with them kung candidate ka na for biopsy. nagva-vary din ang price ng procedure, depende kung saan ka magpapa-opera. may discount naman pag philhealth member ka. and if mag-stop or leave ka from work because of the operation, pwede mong i-apply yan sa SSS. :-)

  11. Wow thanks for the prompt reply. Actually, wala pa akong hub. I haven't even had my CD4 count since I learned of my status 3 years ago. I don't think it's cancer too since localized lang siya sa neck. (tama ba?)

    You're one of positive people I want to meet one day. Sa totoo lang wala pa akong namimeet na positive din gaya ko. So it gets lonely sometimes. But I get by and I think I'm in the pink of health pa rin (yabang!).

  12. I suggest that you submit yourself to a hub na. RITM-ARG in Alabang, if okay sa iyo ang location. Just bring your confirmatory letter. If you lost it, you can retake the HIV test again because required yung confirmatory letter sa mga hubs.

    The CD4 test is very important since it will determine the condition of your immune system. Three years is quite a long time. Sometimes, wala pa tayong nararamdamang symptoms, yet inside our body, grabe na pala ang pagdami ng virus. I am not scaring you, but early detection is the key to better treatment. :-)

  13. I concur with pinoypositive, early detection is the key to better treatment. Yan ang mahirap kapag feeling mo "in the pink of health" ka, pero di na pala okay. Better to let the numbers say that :)

    Cheers! Stay healthy! Stay positive!

  14. Ang gwapo mo kuya:">

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