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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4) Somewhere over the Rainbow

                                                              image taken from http://momfog.com/2012/03/29/mom-guilt/

I had a relationship three years ago, and I learned that he died this January 2012 due to liver abscess. He was in his early 30s. As I’ve mentioned in my earlier blog entry, I kind of assumed that it may be caused by Hepatitis B. I got myself tested, and the result was negative. But now that I have HIV, I have a strong suspicion that I may have gotten the virus from him. We had unprotected sex.

When I learned that he died, I felt sorry for him. I even posted in my facebook account a video of his favorite song, “Somewhere over the Rainbow” by  Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole. We had a good relationship. I took care of him when he had fever; he helped me when I transferred to my apartment in Quezon City. I remember him helping me carry the chairs and the refrigerator to my room at the 3rd floor of the building where I live. I was waiting for my deployment date in the hospital back then, and to avoid boredom, he gave me an online writing job; the kind of job which paid for my apartment rental, utilities, and internet bill. He was the first one who brought me to Malate, and he insisted that we hold hands all the time when we were there. Combined with my income from my nursing job, the online writing work gave me the opportunity to tour to different tourist spots in the country. So how can I ever hate the person who gave me life while I was still a struggling nurse in Manila?

Just yesterday, I don’t know what came to me, but I searched over facebook a person who I once dated for several months around mid-2009. I was shocked to learn that he too, has already passed away last October 2011. He was 25 years old. It was due to meningitis. And research tells me that meningitis is one of the defining conditions of AIDS. Right now, if I think about it, maybe he really had AIDS. It’s just that it was undiagnosed. He always wanted to do bareback sex. He doesn’t want me to use condom, and whenever I do, he removes it moments before I would cum, so that I could cum inside him. And right now, I feel so stupid for indulging in that practice. True, it felt better without condom, but look what it got me.

I also learned that he knew he had meningitis all along. If he ever consulted a doctor about that, HIV screening test must have been suggested for him to take. And if he ever took one, and turned out positive, did he intentionally pass it to me? I don’t know. I really don’t know. And perhaps, I wouldn’t ever know.

I have to admit, I got angry with these two abovementioned people. But then I realized, what if I passed the virus to others? These two are the most possible people from whom I may have acquired the virus, and I had encounters with them two to three years ago. So after them, what happened to the succeeding partners I had?

That is the problem with HIV. Whether your CD4 is high or low, that doesn’t necessarily conclude that your infection is recent or acquired years ago. More than that, it is asymptomatic. You may have it for years already, yet the symptoms do not show.

It is a struggle living with HIV. There’s that temptation to blame past relationships and encounters, and there’s that condemnation towards oneself. I carry around fear; I carry around loathing; and I carry around guilt.

Again, it is a struggle. And I’m dealing with it every single day.

Currently have 5 comments:

  1. Don't be sad. Alam mo yan. Kayang kaya natin toh =P We cannot blame the past because all we have to blame is ourselves for not being safe. Pero nangyari na eh. All we have to do is forgive ourselves then forgive the people we had been with.

  2. hi, just saw ur blog, so i take it u are PPD positive but your chest x ray was negative that is why u were advised to take INH? also, make sure u have hiv viral load test done, and hopefully you can remember your partners so you can inform them to take the hiv test- my email- acibig@yahoo.com. good luck, be strong

  3. I had my medical exam last March 27 as a requirement for my work abroad. All the results were good, except the HIV test. I had no symptoms then. A week after, I had swollen lymph nodes. My doctor gave me antibiotics for that. I also had my PPD, it's negative.

    When I had a consultation in my HIV hub, I had all the preliminary procedures done, including X-ray and sputum exam. I'm negative for TB, yet they wanted me to start with Isoniazid as prophylaxis med.

    I still do not have CD4 count because the machine here in our hub is under repair. Viral Load test was not ordered too, for now.

  4. Thanks! How I wish I'm as strong as you. I'm dealing with this every day naman, and I know that in the near future, I'll get over these negative feelings.

  5. I hope you are ok and still asymptomatic. I came across this blog just now. I know this post has been here for more than a year and I am not sure if my comment is relevant or you can read it. I do hope we have agencies to help in our country, at least in contact tracing. It is being implemented here in Australia without breach of confidentiality. I do think it is a responsibility of the HIV positive patient to trace his/her contacts and have them tested for HIV. The good thing here in Australia is we have an agency to do it for the patients. It will take a lot of courage for a patient to do that.

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