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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12) Saint Roque, the patron saint of AIDS

Today, August 16, marks the feast day of Saint Roch, the patron saint of plagues, pestilence, and AIDS. He is also known as Saint Roque and Saint Rocco.

Saint Roque is usually depicted in Catholic churches as the one with a walking stick on one hand while his other hand is pointing to a wound in one of his knees. A dog is sitting by his side with bread in its mouth.

Saint Roque was born in 1295 at Montpelier, France to a wealthy and noble government family. He was born with a red birthmark in the shape of the cross on his chest. When his parents died at the age of twenty, he gave away his considerable fortune to the poor, handed over the reigns of the governorship to his uncle, and went on a pilgrimage to Italy.

In Italy, he was very diligent in tending the sick, and is said to have effected many miraculous cures by prayer, the sign of the cross, and the touch of his hand. Due to his constant contact with the plague victims, he became ill himself. Because of his illness, he wandered into the forest to die.

Away from the people, Saint Roque made himself a hut of boughs and leaves. He was miraculously supplied with water by a spring that arose in the place. He also survived hunger when a dog constantly supplied him with bread. The dog would lick his wounds, eventually healing them.

On his return to Montpelier, he was arrested as a spy and was thrown into prison. The orders ironically came from his uncle, who was then the governor of the city, who failed to recognize him. Saint Roque did not reveal himself to avoid worldly glory.

He lived in the prison for five years until his death on August 16, 1327. Only upon his death was the birthmark on his chest was discovered, and the governor grievously saddened by the loss.

Prayer for AIDS to Saint Roque

Dear mendicant Pilgrim,
You once took care
Of sufferers from the plague
And were always ready to help others
By kind service and fervent prayers.
You yourself had no home
And you died in a dungeon.
No wonder countless invalids
Have confidently invoked your help.
Please grant a cure to
(name of sufferer),
and help us all become spiritually healthy.