Thursday, May 31, 2012

The weekend is near

This week was crappy as far as adding entries to this blog is concerned. This weekend I have a few things I'm planning to write about. I hope I'll have enough time tomorrow to add stuff here. I have a few updates but work has been getting in the way. Take care, friends.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Career Change

I need a less stressful job. I don't wanna put up with the crap I put up with at work anymore. I have more important stuff to focus on. It's time to stop letting things slide cuz I just don't have the time and energy to do that. I hope I can find something better soon, even if it pays a bit less. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In Manila, June 6 to 8

I might be in Manila next week. If my trip pushes through, it means I'll finally be able to tell my family. Wish me luck. I hope there won't be too many tears.

Monday, May 28, 2012

1 Week

It has been 1 week since I found out that I have HIV. Ironically I feel stronger and stronger everyday. The most important thing I've learned is that you have to keep a positive mindset. You have HIV; HIV does not have you. You can control it; you don't have to let it control you. I wanna thank the friends I've confided in for supporting me and showing me how much you love me, and I wanna also thank all the online support groups for reassuring me that as long as I do my part, things will be OK. God Bless You All.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


One thing that I've notice on a lot of blogs in the Philippines by PLHIVs (Persons Living with HIV) is that they all have a Paypal "Donate" button. I've decided to create my own too.

I am very fortunate that I am still at the stage where I can afford to pay for my and my partner's tests, and we're also fortunate that in case either of us needs to start taking ARVs, the Philippine government will provide the meds to us. However, now that my medical insurance will not cover any of my hospitalizations in case I get sick, I'm not sure how long I'll be able to support myself financially. Even if I'm able to support myself, I will need to support my partner as well since he does not make as much as me and he does not have any family members who can support him financially.

So here's my support button. I will be forever grateful to any of you who donates whatever amount. God Bless you and your loved ones.


My partner just sent me a text message and said he cried after reading my blog. I have been as motivated to add new entries as I thought I would be over this weekend, but his text was the kick I needed to work on a new entry. If I can inspire him to fight against this virus, then maybe I can do the same for other people reading my entries. We'll all fight against this together.

First of all, let's give my partner a name. Obviously for privacy reasons, I won't be using his real name. Let's call him Red. No particular reason why, though I do think the name suits him. Second, Red isn't really my boyfriend. He's my ex. I do, however, live with him. People get a bit confused sometimes when I tell them that I live with my ex, and my close friends in particular are kinda frustrated that Red is still in my life especially after all the shit I went through when we were together. But no matter how crappy Red was as a boyfriend, he's still a pretty good friend, and after 7 years of knowing someone you kinda take the bad with the good and just decide to forget about the past and focus on making a better future. I call Red my partner now because especially now that we both have HIV, more than ever we have to stick together to fight against sickness, and more than ever we have to encourage each other to work harder to reach out goals and achieve our dreams. We don't intend to leave this world anytime soon, but you never know how much time you really have, and especially in our situation we can't afford to wait for stuff to happen.

So anyway, whenever Red got sick earlier this year, I was the one who took care of him. I won't say all his illnesses cuz if I do it'll be easy for his friends to guess his identity if for whatever reason they end up reading this blog, but let's just say that his first illness was another virus. He got really, really sick then, and I spent an entire week away from the office taking care of him in the hospital. A few weeks later he got hospitalized again, this time with pneumonia, and we spent another week in the hospital. It was so bad that even if he just walked a few steps he would be all out of breath and would be on the verge of collapsing. Apparently based off of his xray, his pneumonia was presenting itself in a way that was uncommon for someone his age, so it was then that the doctor recommended that he take an HIV test. They said it was just a precaution because of the rising number of incidents of HIV in the Philippines, but at that it point it got us thinking hmmm what if he did have HIV.

He has his blood extracted on a Tuesday and we were told that we would get the results by Friday because apparently the hospital we were in only worked on HIV tests on Tuesdays and Friday. Hmmm ok we thought, and for a few days we were worried not so much about the test but because if the test came up positive then our insurance wouldn't cover the hospital costs. Luckily the insurance wasn't too worried about the test because on the itemized list that was submitted to them the test was in code and the doctor just said it was a necessary test without explaining what it actually was for. When Friday came around we thought great we can finally get the test results and stop worrying, but then they told us that the blood clotted and so they needed another sample. We got frustrated because we had been worrying about the results and now we'd have to wait for another 2 weeks to confirm if he had HIV because for some unknown reason they had to send the test to Manila for confirmation.

So we tried not to worry anymore because we honestly thought that his pneumonia was bad because his immune system had been weakened by the first virus that he had, and all he really needed to do was rest. Still, he went to see an infectious diseases specialist as recommended by the doctor who was looking after him while he was confined. We got seriously worried again after his first consultation. His doctor said that yes although it is possible his blood did actually clot and that's why they needed another sample, the truth is that usually that's what the hospital says when the test comes out positive and they need to collect another sample to confirm if the person really does have HIV. They say that the blood has clotted so that people don't freak out when the 2nd sample is taken, and the 2nd sample is sent to Manila because the San Lazaro hospital in Manila is the one that does the confirmatory or Western blot test that also determines what type of HIV the person has.

Even back when Red was still my boyfriend, we had already discussed what we would do if either of us ending up having HIV. I said that if we both had it we should stick together because no one else was going to take care us except for each other. I said that to him again after he had that consultation. I told him that it didn't matter if he had HIV, I would take care of him again like I've been doing so far this year. At that time though to be honest I was really hoping that if he had it that I didn't, though I knew it was highly likely that we both had it. I was so focused on helping him make it through all his tests that I didn't have a whole lot of time to think that hey I might have it too.

Then he got his result. On May 19 he was scheduled to fly to Manila because he wanted to rest and be with his friends and family before he went back to work, so the day before he got tested again just to get the whole thing off his mind. It came out positive. When he said that the test was positive I was in denial for a bit and even asked what do you mean positive, do you mean HIV+ or do you mean that it's positive cuz you don't have it. I left work early and went home to see him. We had already come to some level of acceptance that he might have HIV so we were somber but not falling apart. Then he said that he would do everything he could to fight back against the illness and that he needed to extend his life as much as he could because he had a family he needed to take care of. I said that I will never leave him, I will always take care of him, and that we will fight together. He said he hoped so and I hugged him really tight. He broke down and started crying.

That weekend after he left for Manila I was all by myself. Red left on Saturday night, and Sunday morning when I woke up the first thought on my mind was that if he had HIV then it was impossible for me not to have it too. Impossible. I wouldn't say that I panicked, but I spent the entire day researching about HIV in the Philippines -- where to get meds, how much it costs each time you're hospitalized, support groups, etc. I read anything and everything because even though I had yet to be tested I wanted to be mentally prepared in case I also tested positive. Monday morning, May 21, I tested positive.

I have to say, I'm surprised how positive Red has been since we found out that he has HIV. He has admittedly tried to commit suicide several times in the past, but he has had a positive about our situation and is focusing on being healthy and being strong. I'm super proud of him for that. He has matured quite a bit since the first time I met him, and I'm happy that we've decided to stick together through this. For those that are wondering who gave HIV to who, let me start off by saying that both of us have agreed not to blame each other. At one point or another we were both unsafe with other partners, so we could have gotten the virus from anyone, especially since the dormant period of the virus is anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, sometimes even up to 5 years. Though my friends are likely to blame Red for giving it to me, I will be the first to say that it is more likely that I gave it to him. I worked overseas before and I did not use protection with my boyfriend there either. Even though Red has been getting sick more frequently, it doesn't mean that he's necessarily the one who got it first. It could just be that his body is reacting more to the virus. Again, it doesn't matter who gave who. We have agreed to stick with each other no matter what.

I can't wait for Red to come back home from Manila. When he comes back I'm going to give him a big hug. Hugs always make people feel better. I'll write more about what happened on May 21 in my next entry. I'll try to add some more informative articles in the next few days too. Take care, everyone. Stay safe.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


There's no other word to describe my mood right now. I can't say I'm tired because I haven't done anything to make myself tired. I'm just lazy. I know I said I'd work more on my blog, and I sorta did today cuz I played around with the template a bit, but I didn't like the look and just changed it back to how it was before. Maybe I'll add more entries later... after I take a nap. Zzzzz...

Friday, May 25, 2012


Yehey! It's the weekend already! The week started off rocky, but now I feel much better and I'm happy that I'll get more time to rest now than I did earlier this week.

I plan to spend as much time as I can in the next few days on this blog. I'm going to redesign it, add some more features, and hopefully find a way to get a lot more people to read it. Like I said before, I want people to learn something by reading my posts too, so I'll add more stuff to help educate people about HIV.

For now though, I wanna sleep. Aside from working on my blog, tomorrow I also need to do the laundry and clean the house a bit. I need to rest as much as I can, not just because of the stuff I plan to do this weekend but just in general. Y'all need to rest up too. Goodnight, peeps.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I've always wanted my life to be a romantic comedy. A lot of the time though it's been indie film-ish, in the way that the plots are twisted and the characters are well-developed yet sometimes you wonder why the fuck they're doing the things they're doing. Now turning my life into a romantic comedy seems out of the question, I think I'll aim for dramedy at least. Yes, things seem tragic at the moment, but that's just because the news is recent. But I am fortunate to have friends that let me see the comedy in my situation, and I'm fortunate because I'm still overall quite happy. The virus is affecting my body, not my laughter. Life is beautiful.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Daily Commitment

I'm going to try to post at least one entry daily. I was very lazy with my other blog but I need to make sure that I update this as frequently as possible so I can keep myself busy. I want to make blogging a habit this time, and I will try to make this as educative and as insightful as possible. I won't always be able to write long entries, but I'm OK with even 1 paragraph entries because it'll help those closest to me know how I'm doing.

Yesterday was a bad day. It was 2 days ago that I found out that I had HIV, but it was only yesterday that it really sunk in. I was reading a blog by another Filipino guy in Manila, Iam H. Positive, and whenever he talked about his Mom, I would cry. He has a post titled "I'm Sorry, Mama", and when I read the title I broke down and spent around 20 minutes crying before I read the actual entry. I haven't told my own Mom yet, but I'm sure it'll be a very emotional moment. My biggest fear is disappointing my Mom, and I know by telling her I'm HIV+ I will definitely disappoint her.

By the end of yesterday though I was feeling much better. I read a lot of articles again, and thanks to Iam I was able to find out about how apple cider vinegar and raw garlic might possibly help in minimizing my viral loads and boosting my CD4 counts. In English, that means I don't have to wait to start using ARVs before I take positive action to improve my health. I am willing to start anywhere to keep myself healthy.

When I have more time over the weekend, I'll write more about my journey in discovering I had HIV, and I'll try to post as much as I can about what I've learned about HIV. In my few days rabidly researching online, one thing I've discovered about the HIV and AIDS community in the Philippines, and in the rest of the world for that matter, is that it's generally a tight-knit group, and everyone wants to help everyone else out in whatever way they, or we, can. I want to do my part.

As OK as I am with my close friends and family knowing I have HIV, my partner doesn't feel comfortable about people knowing his status. So although I eventually want to reveal myself, I will have to stay anonymous in order to respect my partner's wishes. I haven't completed figured stuff out yet, but I will share this blog with my closest friends and those I share my status with, and I will try to get this blog out as much as possible while keeping my anonymity. Let's see how that works out.

That's all for today. I'll write again tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 21, 2012

Yesterday I found out that I have HIV. Today, I've decided to stop crying and do something constructive. I've decided to name this blog after the date I found out I have HIV, and moving forward it will be my target to make it to as many May 21's as I can -- and I will make it to many. May 21 will be as important as my real birthday. Happy May 21, everyone.