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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8) Love Yourself: Free HIV Testing

The Love Yourself Project is an advocacy group which aims to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among high risk groups such as the LGBT-MSM and the youth through awareness, counseling, and education.

They recently opened “The Love Yourself Hub” in 1850 Leon Guinto Street in Malate, Manila, which serves as a resource center for high risk groups to further increase their level of education and awareness with regards to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.

With the support of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), one of the group’s main programs is to conduct HIV Counseling and Testing.

This July 22, Sunday, they will be conducting free testing for HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis B at Victoria Court, Malate.

Personal Note:

I have attended a couple of street parties in Malate in the last two years, and I have seen booths offering free HIV testing, but I never bothered to get myself tested. One reason is that there is fear that my privacy might be compromised. Second reason, there’s that fear that if the result will turn out positive, that will just ruin my mood for the night, and my outlook in life starting the day after. Third reason, I had that false confidence that I am negative for HIV.

What I realized now is that if only I approached the booth, I would have received key information regarding HIV/AIDS since the trained personnel in those booths also offer counseling services before and after the test.

The essence of this free testing is that if the result turns out negative, then one can take steps to ensure to remain negative. However, if the result turns out positive, then one can receive the proper guidance and treatment.

I salute the efforts of support groups that they reach as far as Puerto Galera to offer free HIV testing. The target groups are there, especially during the Holy Week, and the effort to bring their programs there is highly commendable.

What I do hope right now is that the topic of HIV/AIDS should be openly talked about within groups; group of friends, among employees, and even among students. The purpose is not necessarily to bring fear to the general population, but to spread awareness. There are a lot of common misconceptions regarding the spread of HIV, and these should be corrected. Further education among groups is really necessary.

So to the members of high risk groups, who, by chance, get to read my blog, please do yourselves a favor and have yourselves tested.

The life that you will save is yours, so please take the test.