Archive for March, 2010


confessing to my parents

It was palm Sunday and there was confession in our church. I took advantage of it to seek spiritual guidance from a priest about my situation and at the same time, ask for the absolution of my sins. I don’t know what happened but as I confessed my sins, tears started to flow down my cheeks. Then suddenly I broke down when I started telling the priest about being a victim of HIV. He didn’t blame me nor condemned me. Instead, he assured me that everything will be fine as I approached God with a contrite heart seeking God’s forgiveness. He just told me to pray for guidance and wait for the right time to tell my parents about it. After saying my penance, I have decided. I’m gonna tell my parents about it that moment.

I called my parents to meet me at our home as I’m going to tell them something very important. My initial line was “I’m gonna tell you something but please, don’t hate me. Don’t condemn me, and I’m hoping that you would still accept me as your son. Let me do the talking first.” My mom interrupted me and told me that we should pray together first for God’s grace of understanding, forgiveness and repentance. After praying, I held both of their hands and then uttered, “Mommy, Daddy, I’m HIV positive.” Again, I lost control of my tears. My mom started crying. and when we all calmed down, as a family, we talked about what’s going to happen next and what should be expected. They expressed their full support to me.

Parent will be be parents.

I can feel their pain — they don’t want to see their son suffer.

I can feel their love, concern, support, and understanding.

No one will understand me better than them.

After telling this about them, the last thorn has been pulled out from my heart. And the wound it left is being healed by my parent’s love and support.

Mom, Dad, my siblings. I love you all and thank you.

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After a long SMS conversation with the anonymous texter (the person who told me that he transmitted the virus), that person finally agreed to reveal his identity in person with the condition that I will not hurt him nor do any harm to his family.

I arrived ahead of our meeting schedule somewhere in the Makati business district. When he showed up, I was quite surprised that the person was an ex partner of mine. He was wearing a medical mask given that he can’t afford to catch any opportunistic infection/disease as he commuted to our meeting place.

We chit-chatted for a while over coffee. I showed him my lab result. He gave me pointers that I need to know about the disease. I was very thankful to him that he immediately informed that he’s positive. I’d rather know that I also have the disease rather than finding out about it when everything’s too late. He had to leave early has he had to go home for his scheduled medication. But I understand though I have a thousand more questions in mind that I would like to ask him.

While I was driving home, everything started to sink in — That I already have the virus in my blood for quite some time (5 years or so). He’s already diagnosed with AIDS (111 CD4 -Tcells count). He was hospitalize a month before due to Tubercolosis and nearly died because of it. It was the time that he was diagnosed that he’s positive.

I can’t wait to have myself tested for my Cd4 count and viral load. I’m still hoping that I don’t need to start my ARV medication yet.

the verdict

I am positive.

No wonder it took so long for my result to come out. The confirmatory result from San Lazaro indicates that I am reactive to HIV 1. I have been preparing for this with the mentality that I am positive until proven negative. and it helped. The OIC accredited by DOH to give the post-testing counselling session was kinda surprised that I took the result well and applauded me for being strong and intelligent about it (the fact that I know a lot about the disease. Well, I did tons of research about it). She had me sent to their general practitioner to have the endorsement form filled up. After the quick physical exam and some questions, my case is classified as clinically stage two. After the physical, I was told that they’ll text me again once they have already endorsed me to San Lazaro for the census, and lab tests (CD4, Viral load, Opportunistic Diseases, et al).

It’s not the end of the world for me. I’m taking this as another chapter of my life. A new page unfolds and it depends on me how I’m going to write the remaining pages of my life. I have to be positive about it as life goes on.

I took the day off from work after finding out the result. Spent the day with my best friend in Trinoma to talk about my plans, what to do next, and when to tell my parents about it. To somehow distract me from the bitter reality, we had lunch, did some window shopping, watched How to train a Dragon in 3D, and had a few bottles with a kabarda. At the end of the day, I fell asleep with the question, “What’s next?”

I am positive and I WILL BE POSITIVE ABOUT IT.

I don’t know what came to me. But when I got home from work this evening, I had the guts told my sister about my ordeal. I broke up in tears while uttering the words “Martha (not her real name), I am HIV positive”. That was the first time cried about me having the disease. She cried terribly and we hugged each other in Silence.
My sister will be going back to the US in a few weeks. She asked me when I’m going to tell our parents. She told be that she can’t carry the burden of being the only one in the family who knows about the status of my health. She threatened me that she will not leave until I tell my parents. I assured that I am healthy and I promised her that I will tell our parents about it as soon as possible once I’m ready.
I also made a promise to her that I’d take care of my health — that I’ll be around for a few decades more.

I don’t know what came to me. But when I got home from work this evening, I had the guts told my sister about my ordeal. I broke up in tears while uttering the words “Martha (not her real name), I am HIV positive”. That was the first time cried about me having the disease. She cried terribly and we hugged each other in Silence.
My sister will be going back to the US in a few weeks. She asked me when I’m going to tell our parents. She told be that she can’t carry the burden of being the only one in the family who knows about the status of my health. She threatened me that she will not leave until I tell my parents. I assured that I am healthy and I promised her that I will tell our parents about it as soon as possible once I’m ready.

I also made a promise to her that I’d take care of my health — that I’ll be around for a few decades more.

Finally, after the several calls I made to the laboratory to follow-up and check on the status of my lab result, I’ve gotten what I have been waiting for — a text message from the lab that I can already pick-up the result on Monday, March 22 at 11am onwards from their head office. I have nothing more to do than to be vigilant in prayers and to keep my hopes up that things will turn out fine — that my result will be non-reactive. Just like what my friends have been assuring me.

It has been almost a month since my blood sample was extracted. I called the laboratory earlier to check if the result is already out. I got the same response as before — ‘Just wait for the call’. How long does the confirmatory tests take? I’m getting impatient…

still waiting

Still no confirmation result. I’m wondering what’s taking it so long…

After checking out of the hotel, yesterday afternoon, my friend insisted that we visit the Pink Sisters Convent. I was kinda hestitant at first but since we have a pretty long time to kill waiting for the bus ride home, I said yes.

It was kinda a long time ako since I bowed before the Sacred Host. I knelt before Him and let my heart do the talking. I was at peace. A state of mind that I haven’t felt in such a long time. It’s my spirit yearning for reconciliation — wanting a renewed life and spirituality — a new outlook in life — a new me.

I wrote a prayer petition for me and my family after a short moment of genuflection. As what prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, “Father, if it is you will, let it be done”. And so be it. I have accepted my fate with trust in Him.

That five minutes seemed like a whole day. Too many thoughts relfecting on the things in the past, the present, and the future that I’m scared of. As we walk outside the chapel, traversing the slopes of the city, I felt this lightness of being within me. The clouded thoughts that I had have finally cleared up step-by-step as we walk away from the convent. Only to reveal a new picture in the canvass of my life — a painting of hope and positivism; and of faith and acceptance.

The result should have been out last Saturday so I was kinda hestitant to push through with the scheduled out-of-town trip with my officemate up north in the city of Pines for the celebrated flower festival. But it later came into me that anticipating so much for the result won’t change the outcome. I decided to take the weekend off, take my mind off the paranoia that I have, and push through with the trip.

And I’m glad I did. I enjoyed the cool weather, the new friends and acquaintances I met, photography — taking snapshots of the festival, the festivities, and my passion — food tripping. But most of all, the best thing is I was able to gain peace of mind being not to think about my current dilemna. Although it pops into my head once in a while, the company that I had turned my depression into laughter — a retreat to solace.

Three days and three nights. Very memorable and fun. But reality bites. Had to go back to the metro, back to the inevitable routines of my life, and embrace the fear that have subsided in the past three days. I”m glad I took that trip. Although sleepless and tiring as it is, I felt refreshed.