Hiram

Chilly holidays for me. I only had once shared the Christmas season with an ex-partner and that was it. I already spent 25 years of my life being single on Christmas and New Year... so by now, I should be used to it.

I guess the difference this year is that i felt warmth from someone I least expected. Or maybe I'm just delusional. Imagining things... no... i don't think so. There are just certain limits to what can happen.

Am I setting myself to another broken heart scene. I already told myself long time ago that I will end up single.... but it's hard not to dream... not to wish.... not to experience affection from someone. Pasensya na... tao lang.

I guess I'm just selfish... and just enjoying the moment. Nothing wrong with that. I think...


Elsie Christmas

The pozies had a small post Christmas soiree last Saturday. M and I decided to just join the rest of the gang during dinner since we already watched Avatar. I waited for M at the MRT station in Taft avenue.

I was wearing my Grimace inspired long sleeves polo and pin-striped shorts. My rashes stopped from spreading but left some dark marks in my arms and legs. M was wearing a Mano Po colored polo shirt. M looks nice in red.

We arrived at the Sky Garden around 630ish. Blair, Little Jenny and 2 other pozies were there. Had dinner at TOSH. My seafood marinara was sooooo bland. Everyone was laughing, sharing stories, having fun. We found out that night that Blair was was the image model of Marcella and Manuela. Hahaha. Ikaw na nga Blair! Ikaw na! Another pozie joined us. After dinner, we went to Agave for some drinks.

Everyone had margarita except for P and I. P had iced tea and I had my favorite poison – Absolut Kurrant with Tonic Water, on the rocks. Yum yum. I actually want red wine that night but Agave only serves their house wines.

Then one by one, every one dropped their ARV. Fun noh?

We left Agave around 130am. M, Little Jenny and I went to Malate to have ‘breakfast.’ We were supposed to go to BED but Little Jenny is carrying his purse with all his meds. The bouncers might not let him in. They might mistaken it as ecstacy pills. Sayang… it’s Little Jenny’s first time in Malate. Next time na lang.

We went to silya to eat (again). We then just walked around the streets of Nakpil and Orosa. M gave the much needed Malate tour being a Malate boy himself.

Then M’s rashes grew more and more. Nevirapine induced. He was on it for 3 days before the side effects kicked in… I hope you're doing better M. Just let me know if you need anything.

It was a great night. I guess we are our own support group. We need not to make it official and create a list of objectives and all that drama. The pozie group where you can just let loose, have fun, talk about “it” without feeling oh-so-depressed. It’s nice. Really nice.

So This Is Christmas

Happy Holidays everyone! Ho Ho ho!

Kami

South Africa's version of Sesame Street called Takalani Sesame is revelling in the popularity of its mustard-coloured furry Muppet, Kami, who is openly living in HIV.

Oh yes... Kami is a pozie.

Kami who is HIV-positive aims to counter stigma and discrimination through creating awareness and addressing fears and misconceptions about HIV. The introduction of Kami, which means “acceptance” in the South African language Setswana, is an effort by the South African government to bring to the fore issues related to HIV.

On the show, Kami is a five-year-old orphan whose mother died of AIDS. Part of her character’s role is to destigmatise those living with HIV, and to open discussion about sensitive issues including coping with illness and bereavement.

Kami's whole intention is that she lives positively despite the fact that she has this virus.

Since September 2002, Kami has helped dispel the culture of silence that prevents so many South Africans from seeking and receiving care for their illness. “Sometimes when you’re ill, you mustn’t keep it a secret, you must tell people,” Kami says in one episode.

We love you Kami!

Sensitive

With me being secretive about my poz status amongst non pozzies, it was actually pretty easy. The hardest part is lying to them with my poker face on. I'm not used to telling lies but I'm more used to not telling my friends everything that's been going on in my life. There's a difference between lying and not telling them anything...

I had dinner with non-pozzie friends last Friday. At first I wasn't keen to join them due to my rashes but I then decided to just wing it. It was dark, it was cold, I work a faux-cardigan sweater and jeans. A friend noticed some rashes in my neck, my hands, and why I look flushed. I told him I had an allergic reaction with my medication.... my "TB" medication.

Whew...

After dinner, we watched Avatar then had coffee. Paranoid i was, I put my hands on my pockets so that they won't notice it and won't start asking questions why the gruesome allergic skin reaction.

We stayed at a friend's pad afterwards. Freakishly hot, I took off my sweater. Wrong move. They seem to "fancy" my rashes so i gave them my best defense. Drug induced allergic reaction, non-contagious.

To date, the inflamation and redness stopped. Now I look like sun burnt. I actually like my faux-tan except for the part that it's not pantay! Tomorrow I'm going back to work looking like a sun-kissed god(dess). People will definitely notice me... I can't help it though... my skin is sensitive.

xoxo

Went to the hills for my rash check up. Update: I'm now covered with rashes. Arms, legs, chest... face. Well, my face managed to just have rashes in my forehead and some red pigments on my cheeks that accentuates my cheekbones. LOL.

I arrived the clinic around 1pm. Fiesta at the clinic. Had my second lunch - kare-kare, bicol express, etc. J was there. Let's give J a blog name.... "Little Jenny" G arrived shortly. G... G... Georgina... hahahaha. Diba, very upper east side my two friends. LOL. Met other poziesas well.

No medication was prescribed for my rashes. I just need to stop my Nevirapine. I'm going back on Friday to have my rashes checked again. Dra said that my rashes will just go away but the timing depends on how much Nevirapine still flows in my blood. So it's water therapy I guess and bare with the heat and itch of my rashes. I asked Dra for a med cert. I can't go to work looking like a red marshmallow man.

Stayed til around 5ish. Super chicka portion with Georgina, Little Jenny and two other pozies - Jessica and Miranda. Super fun! Too bad Blair (BITCH) was in Cebu with E. Georgina and I talked about common friends, Little J scouted for house helps, Jessica from being happy down to a bit of depression because of his CD4 count dropping 44 counts (okay lang yan girl, you are 10 folds away from my CD4 count), and Miranda was bothered with the possibility of getting a tan from his ARV.... Tan talaga!

We then went to Festi with Georgina to but gift wrappers then off our separate ways. I got home and told my mom about my consultation then gave her the pa-noche buena money that she's been asking since last week. Hehehe.

So there... it was a fun afternoon that took my mind off my rashes. This too shall pass. According to Georgina, I should look at it as a right of passage. I look at it as goose bumps and freckles. FRECKLES! Hahaha

There you go upper east siders. Nothing beats a Tuesday afternoon with the pozies. Til next time....

xoxo... Trese

Stem Cells Kill HIV

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, made a stunning announcement Monday: Stem cells can be engineered to kill HIV.

The results, published Monday in the online journal PLoS ONE, demonstrate that human stem cells can be engineered into the equivalent of a genetic vaccine.

We have demonstrated in this proof-of-principle study that this type of approach can be used to engineer the human immune system, particularly the T-cell response, to specifically target HIV-infected cells," lead investigator Scott Kitchen, assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology at the Devid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said in a release.

These studies lay the foundation for further therapeutic development that involves restoring damaged or defective immune responses toward a variety of viruses that cause chronic disease or even different types of tumors.

Source: http://www.advocate.com/UCLA_Stem_Cells_Can_Kill_HIV/

*This is good news. However, take note that the T cell "killing" of HIV infected cells was only shown in vitro and not in the mouse. The mouse did not have HIV. Good news that we can engineer T cells from stem cells to specifically kill HIV infected cells, but we need to show that these engineered T cells kill virus infected cells in vivo in organism that actually has HIV.Still, this is good news. There is progress :)

Rashes Galore

10:27 PM Posted by Trese 0 comments
Sunday morning, I started having rashes in my arms. Nothing alarming, a bit of red patches here and there. They don't itch that much. I took loratadine but I don't know if it helped.

This morning, I woke up with rashes all over my arms, my legs, my chest... eeeek, and my face. Ate told me to stop my Nevi ARV. I called the office told them that I will not go to work because of my rashes... and I'm not feeling well.

I took my other ARV after lunch and stayed at home with my sister. After a 1hr nap, the rashes grew out in major proportions. It doesn't itch but it's not pretty to look at. Arms, neck, chest, legs. Does not itch though. Still.... grrrrr....

I'm pretty sure that the skin rashes was from my Lamivudine. Or both Lamivudine and Nevirapine. I'm going to RITM tomorrow to talk to Dra. Sana mawala na... magpapasko na!

Happily Ever Never?

At the age of 27, I still believe in fairytales. The damsel in distress, the knight in shining armor, well maybe not the the three little pigs but you get what I mean. But now my visions of “Once upon a time” are blurred and jaded.

Does “Forever” exist?

In a way… I still am hoping that happily ever after exists. I haven’t found mine, nor found me.

Or maybe it’s really just a fairytale.

I need someone to make me believe in happily ever afters. Even with me having HIV. If not, then spinster it is for life...

Drop

Been a procastinator at work. I usually pile up my workload until Wednesday before I start being productive. I really need to get a new job. I won’t quit unless I get a new one though. That will be reckless. I’m just crossing my fingers that someday I’ll get away from my dingy job and get a shiny new one.... with sequins!

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I was at RITM last Friday. Since I was in a cheerful mood, I brought doughnuts for merienda. It will be my first consultation with Dr.D.

Dr.D and I reviewed my files, from allergies, history of illness, etc. She told me to continue my TB meds plus the medications she prescribed 2 weeks ago. She said that streptomycin should be for 2 months, I told her that I was told only to have it in 5 days. Then she gave me my ARVs.

I have Lamivudine + Zidovudine and Nevirapine… She said it should not be Efavirenz but Nevirapine.

The first thing that came up to my mind when she said Nevirapine were rashes rashes rashes. Eeeeeek!

I stayed for a while at the classroom for a while. May cute kasi. Yeah yeah… malandi ako. But he started eyeing me first. I was profiling the guy while eating a doughnut. He seems nice, a little reserved, can be outgoing, loves to stroll in the beach… and young.

He was reviewing sheets of paper, he was holding a highlighter pen, I think he’s still a student.

I was unable to introduce myself to him. I decided to leave because I still have work. He’s cute but I don’t go for cute guys. And I have my busilak self that day.

Text BUSILAK to 23666 for unlimited busilak-ness.

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I started my ARVs Saturday morning. I will be dropping my ARVs on 1:00pm and 1:00am. I cannot not take my ARVs.

I more or less prepared my self for my first drop. I researched on what the known possible side effects are. I had my loratadine ready in case of rashes. I have milk to lessen the possible acidity. I ate before taking my ARV.

Then down with the pills.

Usually, it takes 30minutes before any drug can take effect. That also means that it will take at least 30 minutes before the side effect kicks-in. To keep my mind off the time and of thinking if Nevi will give me rashes, I popped in a DVD and focus my mind on the film. Then…… I fell asleep.

I woke-up around 2pm. I checked if I am getting more rashes. More rashes? I have skin rashes prior taking Nevi. So far, I think there are no additional rashes on my skin. I feel good…Sleepy, but good.

So yeah… maybe the side effect of the ARVs to me is that I get sleepy. May ARV ka na, may sleeping pill ka pa.

Hopefully my current ARVs won’t have other side effects. I want to start getting better. More energy mas happy!

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Cute is considered to be an innocent and (possibly) youthful sexiness. It’s not hard and overt, but soft. Even though cute is subjective, there are some people who are or who aren’t. This bothers me because I don’t think they’re cute. In fact, some of them I think aren’t attractive, at all. Yet, it seems like everyone thinks they are. Is there something I can’t see, and are they really cute? Are they really not cute, and are people just complimenting them because they’re trying to be nice by inflating the other person’s feeling of self worth?

Then again, I shouldn’t talk about it because I have been called cute and I’m sure there are a hell of a lot of people who think differently.

Honestly, I don't think that I am cute, I'm just... fairly attractive. Not a head turner. Not the boy next door. I'm not the model (or model-wannabe) type. Fairly attractive, nonchalant, low-in-fat, eccentric guy who bitches about life because life's a bitch!

Changes

My weekend has been a self-realization that things need to change. And these changes were not because of me being HIV positive. It is triggered by something else.

It is triggered by the natural course of life.

When I started living my gay life about 3 years ago, I found friends and circles (not clans) that I can share my life with, experience it and enjoy every moment. Of course it was not always rainbows and unicorns, we had fights and arguments, we had sad stories. But nevertheless, it made my life more colorful.

Around June of this year, the people from my circle of friends begun drifting apart. A friend focused on his relationship with his partner, my best friend was having his diva mode after his latest break-up, some tagged themselves with other circles.

I on the other hand focused on pursuing a career in the music biz. Di ako singer don't worry. With me working on my music means getting tired of going clubbing with them. Usually, I follow my friends in Malate. They go clubbing in BED while I eat alone at Silya.

I also got tired of hooking up with strangers. I get snobby with those who flirts with me. And I don't actually hook up in clubs. I think I just hooked up 2-3 times lang.

Then I was gone for months. When I got back... the circle seems to disappear completely. All of them are still my friends but I think I lost the strong connection with them.

This weekend, while partying with some of my friends, I then realized that I was tired already of clubbing, of partying, of it all. My stubborn head just can't accept it. A sad fact.

I told myself that this change is bound to happen. That I need this change. I need to break this routine. I am getting older. I need a new distraction.

I'm not saying that I'll just leave my friends behind... but I need to cut down (big) on clubbing and partying. I am changing...

Friday Madness (?)

I had my last shot of streptomycin yesterday. Both my arms still aches, tolerable pain. I'm still on 2 antibiotics until next week. Feeling much much better. Hopefully I can start my ARVs next weekend.

Been using a facial anti-fungal cream for my face (Daktakort). Effective. Now I just have to have my acne scars erased. Erased? Lol. No more facial flakes.

Hair.... is falling. I'm not yet getting bald. The flakes are now gone, still have a little bit of scaling. Yes... i'm a fish. I have scales.

No... wait.... I'm a mermaid!

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Lazy friday at work. Everyone except for me is working from home. My laptop is not yet available, still under repair.

Had snacks around 3pm. Shrimp sandwich with biggie coke and biggie fries. At around 430pm, I met up with BITCH and E. Another round of snacks...

Meeting BITCH for the first time. I always get shy and quiet during first meet-ups. Pa-virgin mode so-to-speak. Will be more lively when we meet again.... promise. :)

Got back to work... and watched the latest episodes of Glee. My current guilty pleasure.

Went to MOA after work to meet AO. He's a nice, daddy-like, chinese gay guy. Will be helping out with his resto. I'm not yet hired. Will have some sort of audition tonight.

We had pizza... Weird pizza. Imagine...

Thin crust...

Cheese....

Ground Beef...

and....

Green Mango.

Infairness.... MASARAP!

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Since the night is still young... i went to Malate. Met up with friends and then went home around 4am.

On the bus home... a quite cute guy sat near me. He was eyeing me...

Now let's play the game of "who's desperate?"

I did not actually flirted with the guy but just gave him the occasional glance and smirk. He then signaled for me to sit beside him.

I ignored him then pretended to call someone.

I ended the fake phone conversation. I yawned and stretched my streptomycin-injected biceps, stretched my legs as well then brushed my groin slightly.

He looked at me... then signaled once more for me to sit beside him. He even started tapping the seat.

I picked my phone again and set it to alarm after 1minute. When the alarm went off, I pretended to have another call.

He was getting more desperate I guess.... He tapped the seat again, he never took his eyes of me.

He got off the bus, 2 blocks from where I live. Masakit siguro puson nya. LOL.

Too bad for him... i'm just teasing him.

Yes... I'm a tease. And I tease those who desperately wants a quick fix. I like flirting. It's mentally orgasmic. The body language. I even love playing with words. I don't flirt that much these days.... Minsan lang pag tinopak.

And besides.... I don't play in public... I can do PDA. Cinematic PDA pa if you want. Hahaha. Tapos sya gusto nya sa bus pa?!

I may be easy but I'm not cheap. Sosyal ako eh. Ako si Anne Curtis. LOL

Oh La La

There are a few people I know who let it be known they are not particularly happy being single. They don’t want to be alone. They whine that there are slim pickings, complain about their relationship status, claim they want a partner, that they want someone serious... then go out and fuck some random stranger.

In other words, they’re not lonely. They’re horny. They want to get off. It’s an endorphin rush coupled with testosterone overload and adrenaline rush. And when the rush dissipates, they’ll feel alone again. This cycle continues until, one day, they’ve turned 40 and are still alone.

I understand how they feel because I’ve been both single for most of my life. What I don’t understand is the complaining. I used to complain but then realized that being single works better for me. I know it’s hard out there, but I work at it and don’t sit on my ass waiting for things to happen. And in this life, it's not about having a partner but having a life.

In the end, I’d like to say a few things to these people: Either keep on dating until you find someone who you like (there is someone out there for you), change your criteria/lower your standards, or just shut the fuck up because no one wants to hear about your relationship status because there are many other people in the same situation.

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If there is something I love... it's music.

Music always keep me pumped up, makes me wanna fly, run, dive. Music makes me go emo, cry and teary eyed. Music helps make the pain go away.

Music is my favorite drug.

My favorite genre is house music but I have music appreciation to almost all types - pop, rnb, hiphop, even classical. I also have a compilation of music from the 40s, crooner music, indie, and even latin salsa. I go for originality, melody then lyrics.

When I need to rush something at work, I listen to Beethoven.

When I'm on the bus, I listen to house music.

When I'm on the shower, I listen to reggae.

I listen to chill out music until I fall asleep.

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Long weekend ahead... No plans yet. Usually, the barkada will meet up, go clubbing, and party party party. Right now, my "barkada" is drifting apart. Some of us were getting too old for the usual gimmicks.

So where to go... where to go?

Sabi ko nga kay B.I.T.C.H...... gusto ko mag STAR CITY!

Tik Tok

Don't stop, make it pop
DJ, blow my speakers up
Tonight, Im'ma fight
Til we see the sunlight
TiK ToK, on the clock
But the party don't stop no
Woah-oh oh oh
Woah-oh oh oh

Yes... napapaindak ako sa awitin na Tik Tok ni Kesha.

Was at RITM. Got my medcert, had my first strepto shot (and now, my left arm hurts a little). Had lunch... natapon yung pepsi ko sa floor. Eksena! hahaha. Had a derma consultation for my scalp and face.

Went to Festival, got a nice haircut. Totoy na totoy. Shopped for my Christmas party outfit. Had coffee. Went home.

That's it. Nothing else to say. Hahaha.

Oh... i'm going to start my poi lessons this Saturday. I know some poi moves just by watching vids . Poi will be part of my "stay fit" program.

Hair

I have a long history of different hair styles... and hair color. Thanks to my dad's genetics, I will never go bald. Not that getting bald is bad, I actually dig skinheads, but I have a huge head and I'll look like an alien without my thick hair.

Lately I was having problems with my scalp. At first it started with my scalp flaking out. Initial solution was to get an anti-dandruff shampoo and it worked for a week or so. Last month, it got worst. I think I have some fungal problems in my scalp. Scaling and flaking = not good. Thanks to my thick hair, you won't see it. It doesn't itch. It's just....

I then stated using Nizoral which in a way helped dry out the scaling. Still... i think there's a problem.

I think I have some skin infection or allergy. A couple of pimples, skin discoloration, some parts were super dry, i have some rashes in my knees. I do not think that it's stress related. I'll consult with RITM's dermatologist so I can get proper treatment.

Now, back to my hair. I think I need a trim. Snip snip snip! I'll drop by FIX festival tomorrow morning after my visit to RITM.

Twitch

12:48 AM Posted by Trese 0 comments
A friend of mine was making his usual drama. This time due to my missing-in-action status for weeks. I decided to drop by his pad and hang-out with him.

I got to his place. He said he needs to work for a while. Owkay... Watched TV while waiting for him to finish up. He finished working (and facebooking) after 2 hours. I asked him our plans for the night, what he wants to do... he said he has no plans, he'll just stay home and sleep early.

My left eye twitched...

I told him i'll just go to the mall because I am not planning to spend my evening watching him snore.

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Had dinner alone at the mall. I like eating out. I like eating out alone. I like hearing every bite and slurp. I had a half-pound burger, lemonade, doughnuts, coffee, etc. Food trip. Love it.

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My friends texted me. Asking me if I wanna go out... I was already on my way home. I texted him when i was still at the mall if he wants to go out but he replied too late.

My right eye twitched...

Weight, Sputum, and Nemo

Another slow day at home. Stuck for months not because of being HIV+ but because of a previous illness that I am still recuperating from. Before getting sick, my weight is around 115lbs.I got sick and lost 10lbs making my weight around 105lbs. Now I’m at 112lbs. My goal weight is 135lbs. Problem is, it’s hard for my body to gain weight. Biggest I got into was 120lbs.

I need to gain more more more.

Met someone at RITM during my CD4 count that works for a fitness center and encouraged me to go back to the gym. I forgot to get his number. Though he told me where he works so I might just drop by.

Target is 135, bulk up, be healthy, and look hot. So who wants to go and work out? Let’s get physical!

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Was a bit anxious waiting for Ate Ana to text me the result of my sputum test. I woke up early, thought that Ate will text me around 10am. She said that the result will be released around 2pm.

Watched TV the whole time while waiting for Ate’s text. Had lunch and played with my new puppies (2 mini-pinchers).

2pm came, still no text from Ate. Decided to go out and buy my other meds and check out some DVDs from my local pirate. Bought 28 pieces of ethambutol (my pink pills) and 2 DVDs. Got home. Still no text.

I got nothing else to do at home. I rearranged our living room furniture so that the chi will flow. Yes… chi… it’s good for you.

Around 5pm, Ate texted me. My test came out negative.

Was happy about it. That means I just need to deal with my HIV and probably some infections. That means I can finally get back to my dingy job. That means… wait a sec.

The treatment for tuberculosis is 6 months. I’ve been on medication for a couple of months and now... the test came out negative? Oh well, the sputum does not lie.

--------------------------------------------

Been chatting and texting B.I.T.C.H for a week. Also started exchanging emails with E. Left a message for TGM and to some Nemo’s,

Nemo?

I was chatting with B.I.T.C.H. this afternoon. We were both from the same school though I he already graduated when I just entered the academe. I hated their club way back in college. Rivals. But that’s all over.

We talked about “pusit” and I said I don’t want to be called as one. Pusit squints black ink. People with HIV should stop squinting.

Instead, call me Nemo… the gay clown fish with A.D.D. and short term memory.

So where is Nemo going?

Drugs, Theology and Furniture

3rd time this week in RITM. I went back because I need to take some meds first before I start on my ARV. 3rd time this week that I need to wake up around 7am so I can avoid the traffic in Las Pinas. I spent more time in transit versus time spent in RITM. And this morning, I just have to pick up new meds.

Ate, a nun, a seminarist, and a fellow pusit were in the clinic. Ate and I had a small chat. Because of my TB infection which is not yet fully treated (was diagnosed with TB just months ago), I was advised to not start on my ARV and to prep myself up first on additional meds and an antibiotic.

Trese Drug List:

Prescribed:
Lamivudine + Zidovudine; twice a day - postponed
Efavirenz; once a day, before sleeping – postponed
Ciprofloxacin; 3x250mg in the morning and in the evening
Cotrimoxazole; once a day
Ethambutol; 2x500mg; once a day before breakfast (previous TB prescription)
INH; once a day before breakfast (previous TB prescription)
Streptomycin; 1gm to be injected daily for 5days

Personal:
Stress-Tab Multivitamin; once a day
Vitamin C; 500mg; twice a day after every meal
Vitamin B complex; 100mg; once a day
Liverade; once a day

Yes… im a druggie. I am taking 15 tablets + an injectable. Actually, I am planning to take additional supplements to boost my health: anti-oxidants, melatonin, 5htp (the good mood supplement), etc. But I think all I’ll get is an expensive urine. I’ll just stick with current drug list.

---------------------------------

When I was about to leave the clinic, Ate asked if it’s okay for me to talk to the nun and the seminarist. They were doing their thesis in theology and their topic is about HIV. I sat down with sis and bro. The interview is more on getting to know my story. It was a quick 10-15 minute interview.

Oh my… I’ll be on a theology thesis paper.

---------------------------------

I got home and told my mom about my pre-ARV medication. I told her about the injectable as well. She asked I have to pay for my meds. I got the Cirpofloxacin and Cotrimoxazole for free at RITM but the Streptomycin + sterile water I bought from the drugstore which costs about Php130 all-in-all. She also asked if RITM cleared me for work. I told her that the test would be out by tomorrow.

Her last question was the question that made my day….

She showed me pictures. Pictures of sofas, a green one and a blue one. She asked which one’s better because she’s getting a new sofa. I picked the green one.

Good thing she has a gay son. I got excellent taste in fashion, food… and furniture.

Prologue

The more the world changes, the more it stays the same for some. For me, that’s not the case. In the end, I think some things just need to happen. The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. My new life begins with trese.

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I am 27 years old, been gay for 3 years. I know that I was gay all along but never really explored my identity until I was 24. I had 2 ex-partners, short lived. Had multiple sex partners, averaging to 4/year, so that’s about 12 guys I had sex with in the last 3 years. I am comfortable with my identity. Discrimination will always be there, I just brush off the usual nasty remarks.

I am HIV+. I was tested last October. My mom and sister knows. I think my mom told her sisters as well. As long as me being HIV+ stays within my family and relatives (mother side), I am okay. So far, I do not have plans on telling my friends.

Acceptance came easy for me, just had a couple of weeks of mild depression and a tad of paranoia. I am a fighter. This one is just another challenge… a challenge that will be long fought. And I am not planning to lose.

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I was referred to RITM by my doctor for “further management.” My first trip was nice, pleasant and very home-y. I arrived and met Ate Ana. We talked about my situation then she brought me to the waiting area to meet Ate Ellen and Lynn. I felt comfortable and I knew that I’m in good hands. We had merienda – pansit from their Halloween party.

A week after my first visit to “The Hill,” I came back for my tests. 4 mini-test tubes blood samples were taken. For my CBC, Syphillis, RPR and my CD4 count. I also had an xray, urinalysis and sputum test.

This morning I went back to give them 2 more samples for my sputum test and to get the results of my CD4 test.

“Ate Ana, lumabas nay ung result ng CD4?”

“Naku, ang baba…”

500 and above is the normal CD4 count. For people having HIV, treatment (ARV – Anti RetroViral) will start when CD4 is below 300. I’ve heard stories about the side effects of ARVs – hallucinations, rashes, muscle pains, headache, etc. When Ate said that my CD4 count was low, I started to psyche myself up.

The doctor was out for a 2-wk long conference. Ate immediately called one of the doctors and consulted my situation. A doctor came in (forgot her name) and game me ARVs.

Lamivudine + Zidovudine; twice a day

Efavirenz; once a day, before sleeping

I was supposed to start my ARVs tomorrow. Ate sent me a message to not start my ARVs and to drop by tomorrow at RITM to get pre-ARV medication. Will drop by tomorrow morning then will probably watch 2012 alone. I love watching movies alone... walang istorbo. Harhar.

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So why "My new life begins with Trese?"

I don't believe in luck, in karma, etc. I don't believe in superstitions. I don't believe that the number 13 is a cursed number.

Well... my CD4 count is 13. But that doesn't make me a cursed. When I found out that my CD4 count was 13, I was shocked but just accepted it and asked them about the next steps. Eh wala naman na ako magagawa eh.

My new life begins with Trese.

Under Construction

5:26 PM Posted by Trese 4 comments
coming soon...