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HIV Viral Load

Just got the result of my HIV viral load. After two years of medication, my load is now undetectable. It is indeed a late birthday and early Christmas gift for me this year.

RESULT:

< 20 copies/mL
< 34 UI/mL

LABORATORY INTERPRETATION:
Threshold is estimated as 20 copies (1.3 log) of HIV-1 RNA/mL of plasma.
The linearity range extends up to 10000 000 copies/mL (log 7).
The quantification is homogenous for all sub types of HIV-1 group M and
HIV-1 group O tested, but is not applicable to HIV-2.
This test is exclusively reserved for the follow up of viral loads in
HIV-1
seropositive patients. Due to an increased sensitivity, a residual viral
load, not demonstrated by alternative techniques, and of which clinical
impact is not established presently, may be detected.

CD4 Count – 2013

After delaying my CD4 count by almost 6 months, I was able to finally clear my schedule to accommodate the test last week. I’m quite pleased with the results. From last year’s 251 indicator, my count climbed up to 536. Still waiting for the results of my viral load. Hoping that it’ll be undetectable by now. i’m happy that my medication is doing its job with very minimal side effects

I know for a very short time, we have so many stuff in life that we don’t really understand, for the fact that we never get along together.. We have so many discrepancies, so many hesitations, questions and doubt. But no matter what it takes, for this short period of time, I learned to love you so deep.. Learned to dream about future with you.. Learned to smile.. And Learned to love again. To pray that you’re not gonna say goodbye.. To hope that whatever argument we’re having, you’ll still be there holding on.. To wish the impossible things in life.. I learned to feel the true love.. But all of those, I never learned to how to love you less in every waking day of my life. Thank you so much babe for letting me feel those things.. Happy Monthsary and wishing us both a happy live and strong relationship together.. I love you so much and will love you more in every waking day of my life!

My babe’s monthsary greeting / message for me🙂

Goodbye San Lazaro H4!

Finally, I got myself transferred to Makati Medical Center as my new treatment hub. Although it’ll be quite expensive unlike at H4 where everything’s free, it’s much more convenient and comfortable.😀

Goodbye to once-a-week OPD days; bitchy doctors, nurses, and staff; waking up early to find out that I’m already 20th in line; and exposure to unwanted elements.

With my initial consultation with Dra. G at MMC, she recommended that I do the following:

1. retake my CBC count. My hemoglobin count decreased to below normal. If it stays the same, I might need to stop taking zidovudine and take something else instead

2. take the following tests:
a. blood chemistry. It’s been almost a year since my blood chem
b. viral load. Dra G got puzzled why the doctors at San Lazaro never recommended me to get my baseline viral load count
c. vaccines – tetanus, pneumonia, flu

Since I need to travel out of the country for training for three months, I was able to get hold of three bottles of my ARV treatment medications (they charge PHP 100.00 per bottle for storage fee through) unlike at H4 where it’s a tremendous challenge to get hold of more than a month’s supply of ARV medication even with valid reasons.

CD4 count – 11/12

It’s been quite a while since my last blog post. Been quite busy recently with lotsa stuff. Just a brief update on my treatment, my CD4 count rose to 251 after more than a year on ARVs. The doctors at San Lazaro H4 says that I’m responding well to my treatment. Though for me, I’m still not quite content with this count. Gotta push with healthy living. I need to stop smoking hoping to boost my count further up.

That’s it for now!

Tarot Reading

My dear ex and friend did some tarot reading for me last night. And here it goes:

“You embarked on a new journey at sa ngayon dumating ka na sa point na nag-c-clash and emotions at logic mo that it is already taking control of you. You are trying to balance both emotions and logic. There are things that you want, but, there are also things that you have been ignoring that you already have. You need to be practical and you need to take control of your emotion and thoughts. rather than them controlling you. That way, you will be able to appreciate more the things you already have. that way, you will be able to take care of yourself more, rather than exerting so much time and energy on things you want as well as your clashing emotions and thoughts. because your thoughts and emotions are what keeps you stuck, right now.”

CD4 Count

It’s took me 3 weeks since my blood sample was extracted for CD4 count to pay H4 a visit to claim the result (and at the same time refill my AZT+3ZT and EFV supply). I was partial happy and disappointed with my most recent count after being on my ARV treatment since October 2011:

May 2010 – 424
February 2011 – 366
August 2011 – 97
May 2012 – 198

There you go. 198. up by 101 from more than six months ago. I’m happy that it went up as it’s a sign that the medication is working. I’m quite disappointed though that my CD4 count didn’t go up as I’ve expected. My lifestyle is to be blamed for this. I haven’t cut down on my smoking and have started consuming alcohol. Wasn’t even taking multivitamins as my doctors prescribe. Although I get ample rest (8-10 hours per day), my sleeping pattern is still incorrect staying up until the wee-morning hours for the sake of going out on dates or chilling out with my friends. I now resolve to correct these unhealthy habits and work on improving my health.

Dra. A is quite happy that the medication is working for me. She explained during my consultation that the count actually varies on a person to person basis and depending on our lifestyle. She reiterated that I need to work on targeting having more than 1,000+ CD4 count. Given that my count is still below 200, she prescribed that I take cotrimoxazole as prophylaxis against pneumonia M-W-F until my count surpasses the borderline level of 350.  She also reminded me to have pneumonia shots every six months and get annual flu vaccination.

After weeks of procrastinating, I was finally able to drop by the hospital nearby our village to get my blood extracted for my blood chemistry. It is a routine procedure at H4 to have this data presented to the doctor on duty every six months to check how the body is reacting to the ARV medication. Usually, the doctors prescribe this upon scheduling the patient for his or her CD4 count blood extraction. I’m quite glad that the result is normal despite the fact that I only had 5 hours of fasting instead of the required 8 hours. By fasting, there should be no food nor liquid intake in the prescribed duration.

Below is the result of my blood chemistry. Normal values as encapsulated within brackets for everyone’s reference.

FBS: 4.65 [3.89 – 5.83 mmol/L]
Urea Nitrogen: 15.20 [10 – 50 mg/dL]
Creatinine: 0.71 [0.4 – 1.4]
Cholesterol: 6.52 [< 5.171 mmol/L]
Triglycerides: 1.07 [up to 2.88 mmol/L]
SGOT: 20.68 [40 u/L]
SGPT: 24.06 [41 u/L]

Hemoglobin: 139 [130 – 180 G/L]
Hamatocrit: 0.41 [0.40 – 0.54 L]
RBC: 4.4 [ 4.5 – 6×10^12 L]
WBC: 8.8 [ 5.0 – 10.0×10^9 L]
Neutrophils: 0.60 [0.040 – 0.75]
Lymphocytes: 0.39 [0.20 – 0/45]
Eosinophils: 0.01 [0.01 – 0.06]

on Dating…

Since my concluded relationship last year, I was kind of afraid to enter the dating scene once again afraid of rejection being a HIV positive man. I shouldn’t have thought that way as I denied myself of possible opportunities of meeting the perfect partner for me.

In the past few months, I finally had the courage to go out on dates. Since then, I have dated three wonderful guys who are ready to embrace me as an AIDS patient. Though the prior two didn’t work out, we became good friends. Now, I’m steadily seeing this great guy who’s really helping me pick up the broken pieces of my life. We’re taking things really slow. No commitments yet. We share this vision of having a serious lifetime partnership with a special someone but we need to ensure that it is really each other that we really want.

To those fellow positive guys out there who’s afraid of rejection due to their status, people nowadays are no longer as shallow as the people of the yesteryear. Don’t be afraid. Be confident and don’t deny yourself of our yearning to find that special someone.

In the past few months, I was in the process of self-rediscovery and moving on from the wounds of the past. I got confused, depressed, needy. you name it. Finally after countless counselling sessions with my friends, professionals, and seminars, I have seen the light.

I have learned to let go of the past, to cherish the present, and to stop worrying about the future. I’m almost there. The healing process is almost complete. As advised, I need to cut off on all the negative things in my life and settle all the issues in my life.

These past few days, I have started talking to people that I have issues with. Not as a form of confrontation but more of resolving the gaps in between. From friends, previous colleagues, old enemies, and to exes. Hopefully after resolving all these, I’ll be complete again and be care free – letting go of all the fear, anger,  issues, and things that are stopping me from reaching my goals and being happy with my life. Hopefully in the upcoming weeks, i’ll be done with this particular task.

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