Category: Acceptance

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.


confessing to my lover…

I’ve been seeing someone recently — a 32 year old guy who looks a lot even younger than me (I’m 25). The though of telling him about my status as a pozzie has been troubling my mind in the past few days. I can no longer take further rejections as what I have experienced with the other guys that I have been dating — being left alone in the dark after confessing about my status. I have the option not to tell him about me, but I have to.

I finally got the courage to pop the question this evening.  Here’s the verbatim transcription of the conversation that we had over SMS:

Me: Ei. Punta ako ng lounge tonight ah, may event yung friend ko. Actually it’s a Pink Pride party ng Ladlad.
Him: Kain tayo. Behave ka jan ha.
Me: Eat well ah… Mwahugs. Sana kaya mo akong tanggapin.
Him: Uy. Ano ka ba. Di kita sasamahan kung hindi.
Me: Sana. Basta may sasabihin ako sa yo soon. Sana mag ka lang mangiiwan and hindi ka narrow-minded. I want you to get to know me more before ko sabihin sa yo.
Him: Regarding saan ba yan?
Me: About me.
Him: Wala me pakialam dun. Importante nagkakaintindihan tayo. Ang saya ko talaga na magiging part ka na ng life ko. mwah.
Me: Sure ka? feeling ko pag sinabi ko magiging cold ka na lang bigla at iiwanan mo ako eh.
Him: Di ha. Wala ka naman siguro sakit. haha
Me: What if sabihin ko HIV positive ako?
Him: Di naman siguro. Wag ka nga ganyan
Me: What if?
Him: Uy. Wag ka nga magbiro ng ganyan.
Me: Wag na sana lalabas to kahit kanino. I’m entrusting this secret to you. Seriously, I’m HIV positive. So gusto mo pa rin ba o ayaw mo na? Hindi ako nagbibiro. nagsasabi ako ng totoo. You have the right to know. Aside from my family and barkada, ikaw lang sinabihan ko.
Him:Ok pa rin. Naiyak naman ako. sana di ka nagbibiro
Me: Hindi ako nagbibiro. I’m hoping na di ka narrow-minded unlike others. Sinasabi ko sa yo dahil i like you so much and I care. Sana kaya mo ako tanggapin.
Him: Ui. ano ka ba. Please wag ka magbiro
Me: Hindi talaga ako nagbibiro. Ano nga? Kaya mo ba tanggapin o hindi?
Him: Bakit kasi di ka nagingat. ano ka ba? Tanggapin kita abu ka ba. Kaya lang wala tayo sex.
Me: Thanks for that. Pwede pa namang meron. Obviously,wala ka pang alam masyado about HIV. I’ll educate you about it. Kung ano ang pwede and hindi. Tawagan kita mamaya. Please don’t tell a single sould about me being positive. Malamang nakita mo sa CP ko: H4 2010 077. That’s my patient number sa San Lazaro. Kaya pansin mo, as much as i would like to kiss you or be intimate with you, di ko pa ginagawa? Kasi di ko pa nasasabi sayo about it.
Me: Are you ok? Di ka na sumagot?
Him: Ok lang me,
Me: May mababago ba with what’s going on between us o wala? be honest?
Him: Tawag ka na.

Wasn’t able to call him that instant. I ran out of load and I left my postpaid phone at home. So I bid farewell to my friend and newly found friends and then drove home in a hurry. I called him the moment I stepped into my room and had a quite long discussion over the phone.

He was still shocked with the news. But somehow, he expressed his appreciation for my honesty. He has accepted me being a pozzie and he assured me that nothing will change. I had a sigh of relief and I somewhat felt happy but I can feel the fear and sadness in his tone. “I thought perfect na ang lahat. pero di rin pala. Don’t worry hindi ako tulad ng iba. Hindi kita iiwan. Kung ako naman nasa sitwasyon mo, ayoko rin namang iwanan ako di ba? Basta ang alam ko, happy ako pag kasama kita.” I’m happy that he’s a thinks maturely unlike the others. I’d spare the details of our phone conversation as it’s very personal and emotional. We are to talk about this further later when he gets off from work at 3am.

While writing the early part of this entry, we had this discourse through SMS:

Him: I’m so sad.?
Me: Don’t be please??
Him: Kala ko perfect na.
Me: It still can be…

Winner yung  most recent SMS discourse diba? hahaha. Can’t wait to talk to him in an hour. I’m hoping that everything will turnout fine.

I have mentioned in my blog entry before that I have told everyone about my status except for this particular ex-partner of mine. Let’s call him BB (that’s how I call him when we were still together.) I have attempted to tell him about it two weeks ago in person over coffee but my schedule didn’t permit us. Last Friday, I chanced upon him online on Facebook and I finally decided that I have to tell him about it. Surprisingly, he took it as if it’s nothing serious. He just assured me that everything will be fine as my CD4 count is still high and he guarantees my confidentiality given that he is a medical practitioner.

Yesterday afternoon, I posted my itinerary on Facebook. He popped me after a few and then asked if he could join me. I told him to meet me at around 9pm after work so we could catch up with each other. When I got off from work, I got to our meeting place ahead of time and he was late as usual. After almost 15 minutes of waiting, I saw someone walking towards me. It’s BB. I hardly noticed that it was him except for his eyes and smile. He looked so different – so thin and worn out. Words failed me. After the usual greeting, we walked towards the car in unusual silence and drove over to a restaurant somewhere in QC.

I wasn’t expecting that our dinner will be full of revelations. The reason why he was also eager to meet me in person is that he was intending to tell me the same thing that I was planning to tell him. He’s also HIV positive. and in his case, he found out about his status when he was hospitalized because of Pneumonia last January for three weeks. Prior to that, he had frequent flu and headache. And as a doctor, he was self-medicating. He took steroids which actually worsened his situation activating the pneumonia, and staphylococcus aureus (brain abscess). The later almost paralyzed him as if he had stroke. Until now, he has difficulty talking. The same condition explain why he walks in an awkward kind of way. His baseline CD4 count – 16. Currently he’s under ARV medication and I’m praying that his condition stabilizes ASAP.

While we were discussing about our past, our disease, and what’s in store for our future, another ex of mine texted. Let’s call him King (his SACCL screen name). I asked him if he would like to meet a friend of mine who’s also a pozzie. And when he agreed, BB and I went to his pad. Two of my most loved ex-partners of my life under one roof. And given that in the past, King despises BB that even in the time when he needed medical attention, he got furious at me for contacting BB. Funny that the three of us share the same fate and all that we could do is to hold on to each other — support each other as fellow pozzies.

King shared his night to us. He had told his father about his status the very same time that BB and I were having dinner. And another surprise. From being a spiritual person, he has finally converted to Christianity. You can read about it on his blog entry. We shared insights about HIV, our plans, how we told our beloved ones, etc. That one hour flew so fast. We had to go home as BB needed to take his medication and I had to sleep early for the next day’s engagements. We bid each other goodbye and then dropped off BB at his house.

Life is full of surprises. and mostly, they come unexpected. I’ll blog about my reflections while I was driving home that night later. This is it for the night. I still can’t move on with last night’s revelations.

informing my exes…

I could have done this anonymously but I opted to tell them about my status personally. It was a big risk as I have no idea how they’re going to react upon hearing the news but it is my responsibility to tell the people that have been special in my life about it.

I called the three of them one by one and told them of my situation over the phone. They were shocked knowing that they could have also contacted the virus from me. With maturity, they all accepted the fact given that it was our choice to do the act without protection. I felt guilty about it. They assured me though that I shouldn’t be guilty about it  as it was not my choice to have the virus nor do I have the intention of passing it to them. They’ll still be there for me whatever happens. No regrets, no bitterness. Had quite long discussions with them over the phone with our emotions running. Questions have been asked and have been answered with full honesty.

I advised them to have themselves tested as soon as possible so that they know if they have contacted it from me or not. I’m praying and hoping that in their tests, it’ll turn out non-reactive.

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.

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.

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.