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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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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.

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35) Suicidal Thoughts --- My 2nd article in PositiveLite.com




I am Pinoy Positive, a young man from the Philippines living with HIV. Aside from running the halls of the hospital for more than three years as an ICU nurse, I also run half-marathons in road and trail races. I was diagnosed on March 2012 just as my career in the healthcare industry was about to take off. I was set to work abroad, but HIV did not permit me to do so.


I already received my work visa to go abroad, and my departure date was set on the second week of April. However, during my medical exam on March 29, I was diagnosed positive for HIV. My remaining two weeks in the Philippines had already been planned. However, because of the diagnosis, I was left with much confusion as to what to do with my life. I wouldn't be able to work abroad, and I had already resigned from my job which I held for more than three years. HIV deprived me of a great career and a lot of other possibilities.


I was advised not to seek treatment right away because I only had the ELISA test, an HIV screening test. I had to wait for another three weeks before the results of the Western Blot test came out. I was almost certain that I was going to be positive for the confirmatory test as I thought back to my past sexual experiences, though a little part of me hoped that the initial result could have been caused by something else.


Those three weeks of waiting for the confirmatory result were one of the most agonizing periods of my life. I had difficulty sleeping at night, and I found myself crying every time I woke up. I also had suicidal ideas. At work, I had access to narcotics and other dangerous drugs. I had thought of injecting myself with large doses of narcotic analgesics and jumping off a building. That way, I would have been drowsy as I fell, and unconscious when I reached the floor. I fear pain, and I wanted a quick, painless, and sure death.


I told myself that if ever I get hospitalized, I would secretly mix my intravenous infusion with a high dose of Valium. It would induce sleep, and I'd eventually die of overdose. I have this fear of death, yet I wanted to end my life badly.


For a time, I had thought of myself as invincible. Why would I fear anything when I was sure of dying in the first place? I chose to walk home from work even if it was already in the wee hours of the morning, unmindful of possible robbers. I invited danger. I told myself, it is more of a sin to end my own life than for others to end  my life for me.


In every suicide attempt though, what kept me from doing the deed was my family. How can I ever abandon my younger brother, who even in our 20's, would still invite me to play arcade games with him in the mall just like in our younger years? And my mother who chose to be away from her family to work abroad? And for the record, she has worked for more than 30 years in the Middle East.


No one from my family and friends knows that I have HIV. But deep in my heart, I know I have already disappointed them for allowing myself to contract the disease, and I would just hurt them even more if I let HIV rule my life. I acknowledge that I made numerous mistakes in the past, but I would not allow HIV to dictate how my new life would be.




After a certain period of time, I started blogging, and created alternate accounts in twitter and facebook. I have interacted with fellow pozzies, and got inspired by how they have handled their lives, and eventually became successful, especially in their careers. They made me realize that although the journey would not be a walk in the part, it would be beautiful in the end.


In one gay social networking site, I created an account with the aim of making fellow Filipinos aware of the increasing number of HIV cases in our country. I especially encourage HIV testing, and was surprised to receive replies from people asking me where to get themselves tested. And I do get pleased when I receive messages that their results turn out non-reactive to HIV and other STIs. Recently, there were a couple who tested positive, but were still thankful for the early diagnosis. They are currently under treatment in an HIV hub.


Today, I am picking up the pieces. Slowly but surely, I know I will be in track once again. HIV is just a tiny bump in my life. My journey still continues, and life has still lots to offer. Being positive with HIV, ironically, brought a lot of positivism into my life.




This is my second article with PositiveLite.com, Canada's online HIV magazine. Visit their site by clicking HERE for valuable stories, news, and other information related to HIV and people living with it.

My second article can be accessed in their website through this LINK.

Currently have 20 comments:

  1. Hello! Good evening po! Ang galing galing n'yo po! :) Basta wag po kayong susuko :))

  2. Thanks Manuel. Yes, I will. Take care too. :-)

  3. Good morning :)
    Kayo din po mag iingat lagi :)

  4. Wala po talaga kayong balak sabihin sa pamilya n'yo?

  5. Hi!i'm sam de vera. i'm connected with an online magazine (phil-based for now) and i'm looking for contributor writers. do you have a mobile number or landline number that i can reach? kindly send your reply at: samdevera.velvetblue@gmail.com

    hoping to hear from u soon! :)

  6. Manuel,
    Sabi nga nila, ikaw din mismo makakapagsabi if it's time to tell your family about your status. In my case, I don't feel that now's the right time. But I do hope na malapit na yun. They deserve to know din. Siguro, I just can't bear seeing them hurt of my situation.

  7. Hi Samantha, sorry for the late reply. But I already emailed you back as well. Thanks for the interest. :-)

  8. Hi, pinoypositive. I can very well relate to ur story. I'm also a nurse, worked in ICU for 3 years and when I was about to leave for abroad, i was tested positive. I've been through a lot, Feb I was diagnosed with Herpes Zoster then May got hospitalized for TB. I just starte with arv drugs but unfortunately 2 days ago got hypersensitivity reaction. I hope we could get in touch with each other. I need friends like you. please e-mail me at marco_gymfit@yahoo.com thanks

  9. I hope you'd get the right combination of drugs for you. hayst, same situation talaga tayo. i'll send you an email in a while. pareho tayo ng pinagdadaanan. and cliche as it may sound, we need to move up na din. :-)

  10. Mate,
    Remember life and death is God's business, kinda glad you know what to do now. Always stay positive, my friend and do pray.

  11. Thank you. I will always keep that in mind. :-)

  12. Thank you for sharing ur story. Yesterday(Jan 12,2013) i got my HIV result positive. Feeling at the time while doctor explaining me about this nawalan me ng pag asa. Till now no one from my family knowing about this, depressed ako sa nararamdaman at sadness. I not wanted commit any wrong act to God.Hope malampasan ko ito. Please God help me and I need friends n makakatulong and advise pls email me mrgarcia07@gmail.com. thank u.

  13. Thank you for sharing ur story. Yesterday(Jan 12,2013) i got my HIV result positive. Feeling at the time while doctor explaining me about this nawalan me ng pag asa. Till now no one from my family knowing about this, depressed ako sa nararamdaman at sadness. I not wanted commit any wrong act to God.Hope malampasan ko ito. Please God help me and I need friends n makakatulong and advise pls email me mrgarcia07@gmail.com. thank u.

  14. Hello Centroeagle, I already emailed you. So sorry for the late reply.

  15. Hi there. My name is Ren, already in my early 50's and am now taking care of my long time partner who's now 36 years old but diagnosed HIV poz last 2008. I also had my test many times, and luckily , am HIV neg. He only knew he had it when he was in Singapore and applied for a job there. It was such a nightmare on that foreign place and he was immediately deported back to the Phil.From then on I tried everything to support him in this endeavor and encourage him to go on medication but up to this present he's still on a denial stage. I look after his diet and supply him lots of healthy food and vitamins, then I don't let him work again. He used to work as a nurse at St. Lukes Global City. I let him stay in our beach house in Marinduque with good and healthy environment. We plan to put up a restaurant in the island and stay there for good. He never had any severe infection whenever he's in the beach, although there are times that he feels weak but I see to it that he eat lots of fruits and veggies, plus plenty of sleep and res, then he'll be okay again. I wish to know more about you so that I have somebody I can share my sentiments and support me with this trial in lour life. Please get in touch with me at watari777ph@yahoo.com. Hope you count me as your new friend.

  16. Hi Ren! I already emailed you. Medyo mahaba-haba yun. :-)

  17. I don't know how would i start po to tell you how scared i am at this point in time... You can call me Anonymous81 (and forgive me for not disclosing my real name. I'm still on the denial period) I'm a homosexual man and very much loyal with my partner whom I've been living with for a year now, I've been living in China for almost 10 years, Had been working as a teacher and a part time singer in a band, Had a blood test a couple of weeks ago because i wanted to continue studying, and found out that my initial test result came out as ''to be re-examined.'' My partner, after learning the news who has been very supportive and loving, had a test din fortunately found Negative, I reckon if my test result would come out Positive, He is most likely have it na rin pero non reactive pa lang for now, I had several high risk encounters in the past before i met Him, so i might've got the infection back then, As i'm writing you this e-mail, I'm waiting for the final result which is the western blot test.

    Living in fear of rejection, discrimination, and possible deportation. The Doctor at the government health agency told me that the final result will come out this coming Friday, and I honestly don't even want to be here before that day for the fear of what could they do to me. I've been researching for any legal protocols for foreigners living with this infection dito sa China, and so far the worst case scenario would be possible isolation and deportation with a stamp stating positive on my document. I'm afraid to go home yet scared to death to stay here.

    I don't know how would i plan my life there. Dahil I've never even had any experience working sa Pinas as i've been living here na since i was 20 And the truth is I've not been really wise to save up money and moreover to expect this thing would happen to me. All those times I thought I'll be fine pero sabi nga nila, sometimes you gotta learn the hard way and the worst part is, at the end of the line na. I want to fight and conquer all these, I wake up in the middle of the night scared to death, crying and praying that this is just a bad dream and everything will be ok the next day. Only to face the dreadful fact that I wake up from a nightmare to a real nightmare. I'm scared and hopeless at the moment, I don't wanna go out of our apartment and i'm afraid if this would continue baka mamatay ako kaagad dito sa stress or ma trigger kung meron man ako. I feel kahit wala pa result unti unti nako kinakain ng sakit, I'm hoping this is just me being paranoid. My family whom I have been supporting financially all these years haven't had any idea pa sa nangyayari sakin, and I pray to God to give me a second chance or strength to keep myself strong and accept what could be the outcome of it. I'm praying really hard to be able to move forward. I ask for any sign, I just want a sign from Him that he is listening to me. Pero it has been so silent or so I just say?...
    I'm writing you this, to let you know and tell you how i understand your situation and salute you for showing a positive outlook in life so keep it up, One day I hope I would be able to find the same strength. Hope this finds you well, and i hope na maging magkaibigan tayo, I would definitely need a lot of you guys na perhaps makakapag enlighten sakin and to give me advice on how to face this Life's small inconvenience positively, and ask for your help to include me sa mga prayers nyo. And hopefully you can give me an idea kung sino pwede ko malapitan sa Pinas para matulungan ako.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.
    More power po sa inyo and God bless us always.

    Anonymous81.

  18. would like to have new friends of the same situation...chiefniko@yahoo.com..share tayo para makaluwag luwag...

  19. hi po. medyo nakarelate po ako sa inyo. i just got diagnosed positive days ago. medyo na paranoid po ako those 3 weeks waiting for the confirmatory result pero sinabi ko po sa sarili ko di naman makakatulong sakin ang pagiging paranoid.What I did was educate myself about Hiv and stay positive. I did shift into a healthier and stressless way of life. I look every morning as a blessing. kasi po yun naman talaga dapat hiv+ or -. At looking to the brighter side. Some people didnt even have a chance to live na aabort na. iba naman naaaksidente giving them no chance to fight their lives. Kaya stay positive and whatever the result gamitin mo sa tama. love yourself, live happily even with the most unsatisfying moment, spread the love and never give up without a fight. God is good all the time

  20. Hi i wanna talk to someone na positive din. Just got tested few days ago and reactive ako. Email me archerysadge13@gmail.com


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