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!