Archive for life

Pride and Secrets

Posted in friends, HIV, Personal, pozzie life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2010 by iamhivpositive

It’s time. I told myself…

My friend, Madam, and I were walking along T. Morato when I suddenly felt the urge of telling him about my status. It was just so timely, it was gay pride and the theme is World Aids Day. I took a deep breath and tried to open my mouth but the words did not come out. I was… scared?

Madam is going to the States hopefully by next year and he told me that he is quite nervous about the medical examination that he is going to have. I asked him why and he said that the medical examination is ok, but he is dreading the HIV test! I asked why again and asked him if there are any possible risks that he might turn out positive. He said yes.

In the event, they was a van were rapid HIV testing is being conducted and I asked him if he would like to have it right there. He said no, he said he’s scared. I told him, it’s going to be alright and that I am going to be there with him, I even lied that I had mine just 2 weeks ago and there is totally nothing to be scared about. For the 3rd time, he said he was scared… I asked him why is he scared and he told me that he doesn’t know how he will react if ever that it turns out positive… Seeing the expression in his face stopped me from pushing in taking the test.

Our other friend, Hotelier, sent us a message informing that he is already in our meeting place. Yep, we decided to meet up and go out after I joined my first ever Gay Pride as part of the Yoga For Life contingent. He joined us in a bit and we decided to head to Starbucks. After ordering we took the table near the entrance so we could also see what’s going on outside. Madam started talking about an ex boyfriend who is trying to win him back after his long disappearance until we ended up talking about HIV again.

I don’t know what’s gotten into me but I suddenly blurted it out to both of them. They thought I was kidding then when they saw that I was serious, they became quiet and looked at me. The two of them have different reaction, Madam was a slightly emotional whilst hotelier was just very cool about it – I think. I explained to them everything, told them the story from the very beginning. How it all started. They were just listening… and I appreciated that. I even felt like crying. Madam tried to inject some humor in our very serious conversation to lighten it up a bit. I also smiled.

Our conversation ended with them asking me to go to a videoke and just belt it all out… which I did. I am happy that I have two more friends who accepted me wholeheartedly without judging me. I am happy that they support me and treats me the same. I am happy because I was able to talk about it again. I was happy that I am slowly becoming more open about it to the people around me. I am happy that night…

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Drug ‘can greatly reduce risk of HIV infection’

Posted in HIV, Medical, news, pozzie life with tags , , , , , on November 26, 2010 by iamhivpositive

A drug used to treat HIV-positive patients may offer gay and bisexual men some protection against contracting the virus, the authors of a new study say.

Trials of the combination drug Truvada among nearly 2,500 men suggested it could reduce the chances of male-to-male HIV infection by 44%.

Those using the drug regularly could further reduce the risk of infection, it was claimed.

The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Pills and condoms

Truvada is the trade name of a drug manufactured by the California-based company Gilead Sciences Inc which combines two antiretroviral drugs, used to treat Aids.

But this new study looks at whether it could be used to prevent HIV infection in the first place.

Almost 2,500 gay or bisexual men were randomly selected in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, South Africa, Thailand and the United States. Half were given the pill, half were given dummy tablets.

All the men were also given condoms and counselling on safe sex.

What the researchers found after about a year of testing was that the drug appeared to cut male-to-male HIV transmission by 44%, when the group taking the pill was compared with the placebo group.

Those who took the pill regularly were deemed to have reduced their risk of infection further, by up to 73%, and blood tests were run to confirm this relationship between pill-usage and protection levels.

The research was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the federal US body, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The pills were donated by their manufacturer.

NIAID director, Dr Anthony Fauci, conceded more work needed to be done, but called the results impressive.

“This has been done in men who have sex with men. We need to know if we get similar results in women as well as in heterosexual men, which we have reason to believe we will,” he told the BBC.

“We also need to get a long term view of were there any toxicities. We didn’t see anything that was significant but we need to follow that for a long period of time.”
Questions and concerns

The trial does of course raise questions and concerns. Is it possible, for instance, that the results were skewed by greater condom use in the group that took the pill; and won’t such findings encourage some men to dispense with condoms altogether in favour of a drug?

There is also the issue of prohibitive cost of Truvada, which retails in the US for around $36 a day, and which makes the drug unaffordable to many possible users.

Dr Fauci argues that the two groups were fully randomised and says that drugs can only play a complementary role in the war on HIV. Condoms and fewer partners, he said, remain the first line of defence.

“We’re hoping that if this does become a useable tool in prevention, then the associated counselling will complement the effect of the drug and stop people becoming cavalier about it and say ‘now I have a pill I don’t have to worry’.

“That’s exactly the opposite of what we want to happen. We want to add something rather than have it replace something.”

Sir Nick Partridge, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust, called the trial results “potentially significant”.

“It’s vital that we expand the ways we can prevent HIV transmission, particularly amongst those most at risk,” he said in a statement. “This trial proves that HIV treatment will have an impact on prevention, but that it’s not ready for widespread use yet.

“Three major hurdles are still going to be its cost, the risks of drug-resistant strains of HIV developing and taking a drug treatment every day.”

By Neil Bowdler
Science reporter, BBC News
source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11820963

Sparks Missing…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by iamhivpositive

I am worried. Yes, I can also say that I was a little bit scared that time. He was driving continuously and just ignores me whenever I ask him about our destination. Until finally, when we stopped because of the stoplight, he looked at me and told me to just trust him…

Honestly, now that it has been days since this incident happened, I don’t really think that he was going to do something bad towards me that night… let’s just say that I was thinking too much that time… I was paranoid…

The road that we are taking started to get steeper and steeper… I felt that we are climbing a mountain… I looked outside of the window and finally, I was able to see some signs from the stores that we are passing by… we are actually heading to Antipolo. Gosh! I never imagined that night that I am going to Antipolo… I just shut my mouth and just continued to wait until we finally reached our destination.

“Dito na tayo…” he said. As he pulled over to an empty space in a car park near the edge of I think is a cliff.

My jaw dropped when I saw the view. I can see the whole city from where I am seating. It was amazing! (Yes, it was my first time to see that kind of sight from Antipolo… I guess you can call me, ignorant…lol).

He started searching something from his pocket and asked me if I have the lighter that we bought from the convenience store. I searched my pockets as well but I wasn’t able to find any. His expression changed and I can see that he was disappointed. He reached for something at the back of his car. It was a cake! I was surprised… I was overwhelmed with all that he prepared for this day. He apologized for missing the lighter, he was supposed to light a candle and will ask me to make a wish. I said it’s all good. It was more than enough. He made this day, special enough… worth remembering.

We stepped out of his car and decided to go to an empty space where we can see the view clearly. It was dark and cold… the cool air from the mountains makes me chill… as I look into the other side, I saw tiny lights from the city… they are so small that they can pass as stars from where I am standing… I took a deep breathe as I am overwhelmed with the view, it was just so… romantic? perfect? … or it was a moment of appreciation… appreciate that I am still alive and was given a chance to see this view… call me drama queen and all… but that’s what I really feel…

He held my hand… and I let him. We appreciated the view together until we decided to head back to the car. Once we were able to sit comfortably again, he started telling me sweet nothings and he’s hoping that we will still be together to celebrate my birthday next year.

Then it struck me. The word – “together”. Yes, that moment, I searched my heart for what I am feeling towards him. I like him alright, he’s nice and very much a boyfriend material… but I didn’t feel any spark. Yes, that elusive spark!

He came closer and with his movement, he was implying that he wanted to kiss me. Right! A kiss! A kiss might bring the spark so I allowed him. As his face comes closer to mine, I closed my eyes and opened my heart… hoping that this will ignite the spark that I need.

His lips were soft and he kissed very sweet. After that, I tried to search my feelings once again… and still there’s nothing… And with that said… I had a dilemma… This is our 2nd date and the 1st date is no different with the 2nd. I didn’t feel any romantic connection…

I looked at him after we kissed and he smiled… a hopeful smile… a smile that I know, will soon be erased once I tell him what I actually feel…

Stars and Spark!

Posted in etc, Personal, pozzie life, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2010 by iamhivpositive

It was dark and cold… the cool air from the mountains makes me chill… as I look into the other side, I saw tiny lights from the city… they are so small that they can pass as stars from where I am standing… I took a deep breathe as I am overwhelmed with the view, it was just so… romantic? perfect? … or it was a moment of appreciation… appreciate that I am still alive and was given a chance to see this view… call me drama queen and all… but that’s what I really feel…

Earlier…

Slowly, I started to hear noises from the outside… I’m awake. Today is a very special day I told myself, I should make it a good day no matter what. Smiling, I opened my eyes. It was still early to prepare for work so I just decided to stay in the bed. I cuddled with the pillows under my blanket and just embraced the excitement of what’s going to happen that day.

When I finally realized that nothing special is going to happen that day since I didn’t plan anything, I was able to calm myself. I just smiled and started to prepare for work.

At work was nothing special either, though towards the end of my shift, my boss asked our team to head to a fast food chain and eat. Whilst eating, he explained that the reason for the treat was because it’s my special day. I was touched and everyone greeted me. I honestly wanted to cry but they started cracking jokes that stopped my tears from falling…

As the night falls, I waited for a friend who asked me if he could take me out for dinner. He picked me up from the office and as I sat myself on the passenger seat, he handed me a box. He asked me to open it. It was a box full of chocolate. I smiled. I like chocolates! I mean, who doesn’t right? I was touched by his sweetness… we just met 2 weeks ago and I’m surprised by his knowledge about my favourites.

He told me that we are gonna go to a place which can make me happy, I was intrigued. What is it this time? But I was excited, obviously, I think he did a research about me. After parking, he lead me to a sort of like a bazaar but as we come nearer, I hear dogs barking. And as we entered the bazaar my heart melt as I see little puppies… I LOOOVEEE dogs! And he knows it too! He toured me in the bazaar showing me all the cute puppies like he is a tour guide. After which he asked me if I would like to have dinner already and I said yes.

We crossed the street and entered the restaurant just in front of the bazaar. I remember telling him that I like filipino foods maybe the reason why we are eating in one that day. The food was very delicious and again, I was… impressed and touched by all of what he did. When we finished eating… we headed back to the car park and decided to go home.

On our way home, I suddenly felt alarmed and worried… the road that he is taking is not leading south… it’s somewhere else… I started feeling scared… after all of what he did, I don’t know what he is capable of doing… call me paranoid and judgemental or what, but that time, it didn’t really feel right…

he drived fast and it was already late… I don’t know where were going and whenever I ask him, he just tells me to wait…

23

Posted in etc, Personal, pozzie life, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2010 by iamhivpositive

The countdown started… 27 days to go before my birthday. Yep, I’m turning 23 in a few weeks time and I’m HIV positive.

This year has been very eventful… I dated a lot of guys, had lots of sex, met a lot of wonderful guys, fell in love, was in a relationship thinking, finding out I have genital warts, being admitted in the hospital alone, went under the knife 2x to have the warts removed, found out I have HIV, learned yoga, learned to love myself more now and so on and so on…

A lot of people will be disappointed if ever they knew that in the age of 22, I’m already a pozzie. Some people might even stay away from me and judge me because of it. But right now, I don’t care. Not that I’m proud of it, but I know myself… and I fully accept the new me. And I know the real story… I’m turning 1 year older and I’m stronger, more optimistic and has a lot of love to give… and with that, I believe that is more that just being a young adult living with HIV… it makes me… me…

My trainees asks me, what do I want to happen in my next year… I answered with strong and healthy body, happiness, peace and serenity… corny no? Maybe if they asked me last year I would say, I want to have a laptop, the latest gadget, a car, a fat savings account, lots of boys, a hot boyfriend… not that I don’t want it anymore, let’s just say my priorities changed… I changed…

This year has taught me a lot of lessons in life… and I learned it in a very hard way… I stumbled this year, stumbled really bad, but as cliche as it may sound, it doesn’t matter how hard you hit the ground, it’s how you stand up and try to walk again that would define you as a man…

Again, a few weeks from now, im turning 23… and I have HIV…

Promotion

Posted in Personal, pozzie life, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by iamhivpositive

I messed up. I screwed it up. I failed. Epic fail. I think this is going to be another of my down falls this year… I just let an opportunity for me to be promoted pass… =(

Almost 2 months ago, 2 of my lovely office mates decided to resign and look for a better opportunity with other companies. Although it’s sad that they are leaving, it has opened 2 a new door for growth for us, their assistants. After 2 weeks, the position was opened and so 3 assistants applied, including me.

I can say that I am a strong contender as I am the most tenured in the position, thus making me the more experienced one. I am actually assuming the position already as I am, most of the time, doing what our bosses were doing. So without hesitation, I updated my resume and submitted it.

After 2 weeks of waiting, we were given our schedules for the interview. Monday at 2pm is my interview and Tuesday at 230pm will be for my 15 minute presentation. After accepting the meeting request in my outlook, my heart started pounding. I suddenly became nervous. I am really bad with interviews, the last 2 interviews I had, I totally screwed it up and of course, I was not successful. I immediately booked meeting requests for mock interview with some of my bosses. I will definitely need some help with this.

Now it’s time for me to think of what will I teach them for my demo. It has to be something new according to the invitation that they sent us. And since I am into yoga lately, I decided to teach them office yoga. I know I am just a beginner and needs to be trained before doing it, but c’mon, this is just a 15 minute presentation so I told myself, why not! And there I was, studying and making a power point presentation about office yoga.

The day of our interview arrived and I was at first, not nervous. But I noticed that time seems to run so fast and with it, the beat of my heart started to join its rhythm.In a few blinks, it was already 2pm and off I was to the venue of my interview. The interview started and honestly, some of the questions, I find it easy to answer but the others, I was really lost. Epic fail!

The next day came and it was time for my presentation. I was more nervous this day than yesterday. But there I was… trying to be conceal the nervousness that I was feeling. I felt like luck was really trying to play with me because before I start my presentation, I experienced some technical problems like there was no internet connection in the PC, my presentation not playing and the video attached to my presentation is not showing!!!! As I flick my presentation from 1 slide to the next one, the more that my heart is beating so loud, my knees started to shake and my sweat starting to fall. There was even a time where in I don’t know what I’m saying anymore because I just hear my heart beat. For the first time after a long time, I got scared with presenting in front of people…

I went out of the room not satisfied with what I did… and I know they was able to feel it… this is more than just a promotion to me…this is a fight that I want to end up winning because it’s one way of me telling HIV that “hey! even though you’re inside me, I am still good!, I can still get promoted!” shallow right? But it means a lot to me….
the results will be given tomorrow… wish me luck?

54!

Posted in Medical, Personal, pozzie life, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2010 by iamhivpositive

Sad, I trailed my way going to the SAGIP clinic of PGH. While walking there were a lot of flash backs in my head. Memories from 4 months ago… memories that I now have to fully let go.

I arrived 5 minutes before 1pm which is my check up schedule. I decided to put my back my happy mood since I have to let my doctor know that I’m doing fine. I knocked in the usual closed door of the small rectangular room. No one answered so I tried to open it, the small reception or nurse’s table was empty so I decided to open it a bit more. There was a girl, say early 30’s who was on the second cubicle and looked at me.

JunJun: Asan po yung nurse?
Lady: Ah, wala pa e… magwait na lang daw…

I thanked the lady and closed the door. I decided to wait outside and I texted my doctor informing him I was already outside. He replied back saying that I could come in and wait there instead. I went back to the clinic and took the visitor’s chair in front of the nurse’s desk. Dr. D suddenly popped out from the 2nd cubicle and asked me to go there. He asked me how I was and if I was living healthy and I told him everything that I have been doing. He was satisfied, I can say he was also happy hearing my happy stories.

He then took the weighing scale and prompt me to weigh myself and check my gain weight progress. I was soo excited and I even bragged that I gained weight. I told him he would be surprised. I carefully stepped on the machine and a little while, the number was clear… it’s 54. Yes, I am 54 kilos only. hahahaha. Dr. D smiled.

Dr. D: sige nga, tingnan natin kung nag-gain ka talaga…

He took a folder with my name on it, check my lab results until he found what he was looking for. My previous check up files. He smiled. Then said, it’s also 54!