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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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5) Pre-ARV Supplements


I was diagnosed last March 29, received my confirmatory result on the first week of May, and had myself checked at a local HIV hub last May 28. Until now, I still do not have my CD4 count because the machine in our hub is under repair. But I was informed by a fellow pozzie that it is currently being fixed, and might be available before June ends (fingers crossed).


Starting from the time I was diagnosed, I had excision biopsy of lymph nodes (my family insisted to doing it because they fear I have cancer). The result came back, and it indicated that I have reactive follicular hyperplasia (in simple terms, I have an infection). If they only researched about it extensively over the internet, they should have found out that common causes include rheumatoid arthritis and HIV/AIDS. But good thing they didn't, because I have no plan of disclosing my status to them as of the moment.



At one time, I had severe headache (the most excruciating migraine I ever had), fever of 38.6 Celsius, and body malaise which went on for a couple of days. Initially, I thought I’m already having the early signs of HIV infection, but when I saw petechiae in my arms (tiny spots of blood on the skin), I was alarmed that I might have dengue fever. Through prayers, and perhaps 1gram of Panadol, I became fine the day after. There were still morning headaches, but it only lasted for a few more days.



Since I do not have my CD4 yet, I decided to purchase supplements which will help maintain, sustain, and improve my immune system.


NOTE: Just a disclaimer, I am in no way endorsing or selling any of the products presented here. It is still best to consult and seek medical advice from your HIV specialist with regards to consumption of vitamins, supplements (herbal or not), especially when you are already taking ARVs.


First, I got myself the multivitamins that is complete from A to Zinc: Centrum!


Since it only contains 60mg of Vit. C, I decided to buy Poten-Cee, which contains 500mg of Vit. C in each tablet. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 90mg for males and 75mg for females. If you are a smoker, add 35mg more.


Php104.75 for 20 tablets

Its role in immunity includes stimulating the production and function of leukocytes (white blood cells). Researches suggest that neutrophils seem to be the primary cell type stimulated by Vit. C, and these neutrophils attack foreign bacteria and viruses. Ultimately, it is a general fact that Vitamin C boosts the function of the immune system.


I also bought Vitamin E (400mg) with Selenium (50mcg). Basically, it is an antioxidant, and has anti-inflammatory properties, and it is often lacking in HIV positive people. I am not on ARVs yet, but Vit. E is said to improve the viral effects of AZT (zidovudine, Retrovir).  It is also stated that  Vit. E functions best with Selenium, and vice versa.

Php 427.50 for 30 tablets

I also bought myself Grape Seed Extract or GSE (I first read about it in the blog of a good friend, (Iam H. Positive). Upon further research, it is said GSE may effectively reduce or prevent the impact of HIV infection. Studies also show possible antiviral activity against HIV. It interferes with viral growth preventing viral attachment to host cells. It is also thought to interfere with viral multiplication.

Php 350 for 100 soft gels

And while I was on a kiosk checking grapeseed extract soft gels, I came across another product: Garlic Oil softgels. I gave in to the brochure indicating that it has anti-inflammatory and anti-infection properties. But further research over the internet reveals that it reduces the effectiveness of nevirapine and efavirenz.

Php 200 for 100 soft gels

Currently, I am still waiting for the repair of the CD4 machine in my hub. But just like when I was still negative, I just have to lead and live a healthy lifestyle: exercise, enough sleep, eat healthy, and have a stress-free and peaceful mind.

Currently have 26 comments:

  1. the headache , fever, sensitivity to light can be symptom of meningitis esp if your cd4 is low, just fyi

  2. thanks! i initially thought i have meningitis, but the petechiae made me think that i may have dengue fever. but in a matter of around 2 days, the fever was gone. three days more, the headache was gone as well.

  3. This is John :)

    Tanong ko lang, pano naman ang liver? Kaya niya lahat yun?

    I am just taking a generic multivitamin since I basically don't know what to get. You know I'm still not on ARV's.

    But the mono sucks bigtime!

    I'll wait for you here in Manila and teach you how to swim :)

  4. When I was given Isoniazid (for prophylaxis) by my doc, okay naman sa kanya ang mga vitamins. i asked permission din yung sa GSE, okay naman daw. yung garlic oil yung hindi ko nahingan ng permiso, so i'm eliminating it once naubos na ang stock ko. hehehe!

    Yeah, see you when i get back there. Kakahiyang adult na ang tinuturuan mag-swim. hehehe! though it's a necessity. hehehe!

  5. hi.nagiging sakitin ako thia year. kaya nag hiv test na ako. negative namn daw just for this twice nakung nagpapatest. negative parehas ,3 months yung interval nila. atska first and last akong nagpafuck 2 years ago. sya din yung una kung nafuck.meron pa ba akong
    test na pwnd itake para macheck kung
    negative talaga ako? thanks. naive_tan@yahoo.com

  6. ^ give your self some slack. if you had not done any risky behaviors between that period of your 2 tests, then you are basically negative. just have the last test if your last sexual encounter is near your first test. get it? so that you'll have the 3rd and 6th month window period covered.

    - john

  7. naive_tan@yahoo.com

    Hi there! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Basically, you are NEGATIVE since as you've said, you have taken the HIV screening test twice (with an interval of three months), and that your last unsafe sex was two years ago.

    We can all learn from this by practicing SAFE SEX always. Or abstain from sex, or simply put, be faithful to just one partner. Your choice to save you life. :-)

    I emailed you, please check it na lang. Thanks! Take care and be safe always. :-)

  8. Hi Guys im new aT THIS AND HAVENT A CLUE WHAT TO DO ABOUT STAYING HEALTHY AS I WAS DIAGNOSED AS HIV POSITIVE AND HAVENT A CLUE AS TO HOW THIS HAPPEND SO IM VERY SCAQRED AND FEAR FOR MY LIFE.

  9. Hi there! First of all, seek help from you local HIV hub. Not only do they provide counselling services, but they will help with your treatment plan depending on the result of your baseline labs.

    for now, just try to calm yourself down. I have been scared too when I first learned that I am HIV positive.But the hub, and with the help of fellow pozzies here, I have received proper guidance.

    You can email me at pinoypositive@gmail.com

    Take care. :-)

  10. Hi,

    What should we expect in RITM Alabang during Baseline(?) Test? How much money should we prepare?

    Thanks! =)

  11. a comprehensive medical exam is done, which includes x-ray, blood chem, ophtha, hepa profile, sputum exam, TB skin test (PPD test), and physical assessment. usually,they will schedule you to come back for your CD4 count.

    all baselines tests are free. :-)

    don't forget to bring your confirmatory letter.

    Tel.Nos.: (632) 809-7599 / 807-2628 to 32

  12. hi, im learning alot from your blog..ive been diagnosed for moremthan two years now.but its just recently that i decided to read and research and be aware of the things i should know.hope to hear from you soon and hopefully meet you soon...thanks for inspiring me and other fellow poz.

  13. thank you so much for the kind words. nakakataba sa puso knowing na nakakatulong na pala ako through this blog.

    how's your treatment going?

    with regards to this blog post pala, it is still advisable to ask muna for clearance from your HIV specialist kung which vitamins and supplements suit you best. for now kse, i am not on ARVs yet.

    thank you and God bless. :-)

  14. i was hopitalized last august after my birthday,because of reactions from arv meds and some complications,my cd4 went down to 21. i lost alot of weight went from 135lbs to 115lbs,kala ko huli na,but i stayed strong thanks for the support of my family and my loving partner. now im back to 130lbs went to the gym again,living a healthier lyfestyle now and being more aware of what i should do and your blog really helped me alot..tnx again!

  15. btw i think we go to the same treatment hub.hope to see you soon.

  16. glad to hear that you're getting back in shape, and that you're much healthier now. importante talaga ang support ng pamilya ang friends, and pati na din partner.

    sa province actually ang hub ko, since i went home after my diagnosis.

    thanks for the kind words about my blog. :-)

  17. I bought ATC grapeseed oil. How is it different from ur grapeseed supplement? Is a grapeseed extract different from grapeseed oil? I researched and they answer yes. Is ur grapeseed supplement really an extract or an oil? Pls reply. And are there other supplements that function against hiv like this?

  18. is a month long tonsilitis tells that i am a pozzie?

  19. hi guys. always remember sex is sacred. so be faithfull as always. and for the blog owner thank u for inspiring people. prevention is better than cure. and always protect your immune system for taking right supplement in the market. you can ask me about this 09158182983

  20. Only an HIV test can tell if you are HIV positive or not. Having a month-long tonsilitis can make one worry, but hindi yan ultimate factor to determine if pozzie ka. It can just be another bacterial or viral infection. Have your HIV test na lang para na din ma-lessen worries mo. God bless! :-)

  21. pwede po bang 2 vitamins lang muna kulang sa budget ehh

  22. Im hiv positive not on arvs.im taking centrum since i found out..my cd4 is increasing evryday.now is 595..when i first knw it was 350.

  23. Hi pinoypositive. Yun bang swollen lymph nodes mo ay visible sa throat pag open ang mouth mo?... can you please provide your email address so I can send a picture pf my swollen nodes. Worried kasi ako dahil may swollen nodes din ako na persistent na for 5 months. Ang problema kahit andami ko ng symptoms that seems to indicate acute hiv infection ay negative ang hiv antibody tests ko. The latest symptoms to appear ay itong swollen nodes sa throat na persistent na for 5 months. I doubt the theory of window period kasi may symptoms ako despite being tested 6x in the last 12 months post exposure. I know my body at ngayon lang ako nagka mouth sores na almost persistent plus other signs.

  24. Dear Marian Duss,

    Please BE KIND and don't try to SCAM these poor people. They are already sick and yet you still have the guts to DUPE them. Kindly direct your evil ways to your co-patriots. If you are a NIGERIAN with this kind of scam, have a heart and have a consience.

    Signed,

    Miss Congeniality Pinay

  25. hi, i was diagnosed last april of this year(2014). my cd4 count is 565. the doctor told me it is best if i start my arvs asap because studies show that arvs would work better if you still hav a high cd4 count. he also told me to visit an opthamologist to get a clearance for retinitis which is associated with hiv, he says its an important factor to know what arvs are best for me. however, i feel so ashamed to go to an optha thinking he/she would know what my case really is. this is delaying my arvs. sometimes it also scares me to take arvs thinking it will remind me of my condition evry time i take it. haist. im really not yet ready. im getting headaches almost every day. but aside from that i feel fine. i sleep more than 8 hrs a day i dnt have vices and i take antioxidants evry day. im worried also because i hear the arvs myt cause depression and im quite a depressive kind of guy. i worry a lot too, i dnt know if i can handle it all. =((( im sorry im just sharing my sentiments. i have no plans on telling my family about my condition like ever. i only told two of my friend who i can trust.

  26. guys, are you still there? i need more comment to read. its very useful blog. i need to find pinoypostive101 if he still there. doesn't seen here a while.


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