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A poem…

King, wrote me a poem a few hours ago. He’s my ex fours year ago. He knows me well and he definitely feels what I’ve been going through in the past few weeks as a result of my recent break-up. Reposting the poem from his blog:

You left me on the edge of a cold sandy beach
Icy waters greeting my feet
Like the endless tears of pain in hell
You left me on the edge of a cold sandy beachI stand frozen
Looking at the distant memory of you
You kissed me goodbye
And hugged me ’till my tears dry

Waves are coming for me
Piercing wind, scratching my face
Yet I stand there frozen
Looking for you
Waves are coming for me,
yet I stand there frozen,
as tears drown my longing for you.

I walk towards the water
Freezing water, like your heart when you left me.
I walk farther from the shore
Like how I must walk away,
from the memory of you
I drown myself in the deep ocean blue

How I wish I can just drown myself
To feel nothing but the freezing cold
Until my body numbs
Until I can no longer feel…

As I let myself go in the waters that swallowed me
How I wish you could hear my plea
I let go of the future
…and the memories of us.
 Is that we will ever be.

Thank you very much King! I appreacite it so much.

I perceive myself as a very strong person. My friends and family see me as such. They have lauded me on how I’ve managed to overcome the series of recent hurdles and challenges in my life – plight of my favorite sibling to a distant land, demise of very close beloved, and even in the acceptance and coping with my illness. With what I have gone through, I thought I will be able to withstand any other things in my life that would befall others. But no. I have finally recognized my weakness. My Achille’s heel — Love.

I thought I’d be okay in no time after the break-up, but no. I’ve been breaking down, losing hope. My life has broken in tiny fragments that even I don’t know how to pull things back again together. I’ve set deep in my mind, and deep in my soul that he is the person that I’m going to spend the rest of my life with. The person who will accept me, understand me, and care for me whatever happens. But I’ve lost him. I’m losing my insanity. I’m losing myself. I’ve lost everything.

I might as well fold up. Give up.

Another Fresh Wound

Just a few weeks ago, my partner broke up with me but we were able to resolve things and then got together again after a few days.

Just a few hours ago, I can’t believe that this relationship is over. This time, with certain finality. Just when I thought things are falling back into place. Though it was a good break-up, It would be hard for me to face the fact that the person is no longer mine. Everything happened as a series of unfortunate events. First, with a beloved one’s demise, then will my failing health, then my issues in the office and then most recently, this one. I’ve gotta hold on to my faith and keep believing that things will get better soon.

The pain is quite unbearable and the reality’s sinking in now. I gave the best that I could possibly give – my 100%. But I guess that wasn’t enough. I don’t know if I’d get another shot at love. If only it’s possible to bring back time to correct the mistakes I’ve made. Wishful thinking, I’m wishing that someday, that person will come back into my arms but that solely depends on that person now. I’m just hoping that in case that time will come, I’ll still be here to feel and relive the love we’ve had.

 

 

Almost two months ago, I finally got my 3rd CD4 count — 97. Officially, I have full-blown AIDS. I have started my medication a week ago and will be posting the details of the recent incidents in the upcoming days.

This is so not right! What do you think?

HIV-positive director-actor blacklisted by immigration, denied entry to PH

Director-actor Marcelino “Mars” Cavestany, a naturalized Australian citizen, was not allowed to enter the Philippines after being blacklisted by the Bureau of Immigration for being HIV positive.

According to ABS-CBN News, the blacklist order said Cavestany should not be allowed entry because he will spread HIV. The former Filipino citizen arrived on March 6 and was held at the NAIA terminal.

Claiming he was not informed about the blacklist order, Cavestany decried being treated “like a criminal.”

ABS-CBN News reports that then Commissioner Marcelino Libanan issued the order in March 2010 upon the request of the office of Malou Jacob of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Cavestany claimed that a fight with NCCA staff member Susan Claudio may have prompted the NCCA to request for the order.

Cavestany challenged immigration to junk the order, saying it is discriminatory and violates human rights.

According to ABS-CBN News, Cavestany flew to the Philippines from Darwin, Australia to do a film and pen a book about HIV.

Article from Inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is now one of the seven countries in the world with steadily increasing cases of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and most of the new cases are males who got the virus through sex with other males.

HIV is the virus that causes the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, a disease in which the body’s immune systems are attacked, weakened and undermined. This condition eventually leads to death.

Dr. Enrique Tayag, director of the National Epidemiology Center of the Department of Health (DoH), made the disclosure during the presentation of the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) 2011 State of the World’s Children report at the Sulu Hotel in Quezon City, on Wednesday.

Other countries named to have steadily increasing HIV cases were Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, and Tajikistan.

Tayag said during the forum that the predominant mode of sexual transmission has changed since 2007 from heterosexual sex to sex between men.

“From 2007, there has been a shift from heterosexual contact to males having sex with males,” Tayag said.

He further said that for every one female infected, four men had been infected through homosexual contact.

Since 1984, 6,015 HIV cases have been recorded in the country, according to Tayag.

The DoH national registry shows that 5,158 of the cases are asymptomatic, and 857 have become full-blown AIDS cases.

At least 4,999 are males and 1,305 are females.

Tayag said that in December 2010 alone, 174 new cases were reported, a 38 percent increase from the number of cases recorded in the same month in 2009. They were also the highest number of cases reported in a single month since 1984.

Tayag added that of the 174 HIV cases recorded in December 2010, 14 were overseas Filipino workers, or OFWs, all of them males.

Also, he said, most of the 174 were from the National Capital Region. Three were reported as AIDS cases, and all of them were males.

He explained that the persons with HIV were 25 to 28 years old at the time their cases were registered.

Tayag said sources of information for persons with HIV have been one-on-one counseling, group counseling, videos, pamphlets, Internet and seminars.

He added that infections among young people 15 to 24 years of age also increased 10 times from 2007 to 2010 from 41 cases in 2007 to 489 cases in 2010.

The increase was due to the prevalence of pre-marital sexual activity, he said.

He said sex has been the usual mode of transmission of HIV. Eighty-nine percent of all those infected in the Philippines acquired the virus through sexual contact. The victims’ ages ranged from 16 to 73 years old.

He said other modes of transmission were needle sharing among drug users and mother-to-child transmission. But at least 1 percent of those recorded to be with HIV claimed not to know how they got the virus.

Since 1984, 1,522 OFWs were reported to have the infection, and sexual contact was the predominant mode of transmission, Tayag said.

2nd CD4 count…

I finally got my CD4 count result this afternoon after almost a year. From 424 baseline, my count dropped to 366. Not bad given the mere reduction of 56 despite my stress level. In fact, I can consider myself lucky. Other people loose 200 in three to six months. I guess having a positive outlook in life and being a happy person helped a lot.

I also got my HCV and RPR results. Both are non-reactive. Yay!

Dra. D advised me to go back to H4 next week to consult with Dra. A if I need to start taking ARV medication or not. If I were to choose, I’d rather not take any medications yet until it’s needed.

Blood Chemistry

It’s been almost a year since my last consultation at H4. When I got back to the Philippines from my vacation, I prioritized my check-up. I went to H4 to have myself scheduled for my second CD4 count. Dra. A scheduled me for February 17 and then gave a prescription to have my blood chemistry tested.

I had my blood extracted this morning in a hospital in QC and I got the result before I went home from work. The results are still normal based on the normal values. But there’s a slight deviation from my baseline. I have yet to get my dad’s opinion on this.

Now Baseline
FBS 4.56 4.78
Urea Nitrogen 14.9 7.8
Creatinine 0.9 0.86
Uric Acid 5.96
Cholesterol 4.51
Triglycerides 0.69
SGOT 31.9 23.6
SGPT 28.6 35.9

I will have to visit H4 on Thursday to get my CD4 count result. I’m hoping that the count won’t be too low. I don’t want to take ARV medication yet.

Here’s a little primer (with links) on what the blood chemistry tests are for:

FBS
A fasting blood sugar (FBS) level is one of the tests used to diagnose diabetes mellitus (another being the oral glucose tolerance test). In a person with symptoms of osmotic diuresis and an elevated fasting blood sugar level, the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus is usually made.

According to the 2005 Recommendation of the ADA, you may interpret your fasting blood sugar as follows:
FBS < 100 mg/dl (5.6 mmol/l) = normal fasting blood sugar;
FBS 100–125 mg/dl (5.6–6.9 mmol/l) = IFG (impaired fasting glucose);
FBS ≥ 126 mg/dl (7.0 mmol/l) = provisional diagnosis of diabetes

Urea Nitrogen
A BUN test is done to see how well your kidneys  are working. If your kidneys are not able to remove urea from the blood normally, your BUN level rises. Heart failure, dehydration, or a diet high in protein can also make your BUN level higher. Liver disease or damage can lower your BUN level. A low BUN level can occur normally in the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

Creatinine
Creatinine and creatinine clearance tests measure the level of the waste product creatinine in your blood and urine. These tests tell how well your kidneys are working. The substance creatine is formed when food is changed into energy through a process called metabolism. Creatine is broken down into another substance called creatinine, which is taken out of your blood by the kidneys and then passed out of your body in urine. See a picture of the kidneys .
Creatinine is made at a steady rate and is not affected by diet or by normal physical activities. If your kidneys are damaged and cannot work normally, the amount of creatinine in your urine goes down while its level in your blood goes up.

Uric Acid
The blood uric acid test measures the amount of uric acid in a blood sample. Uric acid is produced from the natural breakdown of your body’s cells and from the foods you eat.

Most of the uric acid is filtered out by the kidneys and passes out of the body in urine. A small amount passes out of the body in stool. But if too much uric acid is being produced or if the kidneys are not able to remove it from the blood normally, the level of uric acid in the blood increases.
High levels of uric acid in the blood can cause solid crystals to form within joints. This causes a painful condition called gout. If gout remains untreated, these uric acid crystals can build up in the joints and nearby tissues, forming hard lumpy deposits called tophi. High levels of uric acid may also cause kidney stones or kidney failure.

Cholesterol / Triglycerides
Your blood cholesterol level has a lot to do with your chances of getting heart disease. High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. A risk factor is a condition that increases your chance of getting a disease. In fact, the higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk for developing heart disease or having a heart attack. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men in the United States. Each year, more than a million Americans have heart attacks, and about a half million people die from heart disease.

SGOT / SGPT
An initial step in detecting liver damage is a simple blood test to determine the presence of certain liver enzymes (proteins) in the blood. Under normal circumstances, these enzymes reside within the cells of the liver. But when the liver is injured for any reason, these enzymes are spilled into the blood stream. Enzymes are proteins that are present throughout the body, each with a unique function. Enzymes help to speed up (catalyze) routine and necessary chemical reactions in the body.

Among the most sensitive and widely used liver enzymes are the aminotransferases. They include aspartate aminotransferase (AST or SGOT) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT or SGPT). These enzymes are normally contained within liver cells. If the liver is injured or damaged, the liver cells spill these enzymes into the blood, raising the enzyme levels in the blood and signaling the liver disease.

GENEVA, 5 October 2010––UNAIDS welcomes commitments made by donors at the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria’s replenishment conference in New York, which was chaired this year by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The United States of America led the donations—pledging the largest ever financial commitment to the Global Fund, US$ 4 billion over three years––a 38% increase over the preceding three year period. More than 40 countries, including countries with emerging economies, private foundations and corporations committed more than US$ 11.7 billion for the next three years to fund health programmes for the three diseases.

“These pledges come at a critical time. We are just starting to see returns on investments with new infections coming down in most high-burden countries and more people than ever on antiretroviral treatment,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “This is a significant and necessary first milestone, but insufficient to meet aspirations. Public and private donors must continue to mobilize resources in order to secure future progress in the AIDS response.”

Despite the record pledges to the Global Fund there is still an overall funding shortfall for the AIDS response. For the first time in 15 years, overall AIDS funding has flat lined. This raises serious concerns on future progress as a slowing in investments will negatively impact the AIDS response.

It is estimated that nearly 2.8 million people are accessing treatment through financing provided by the Global Fund, more than half of the people on treatment today. However there are nearly 10 million people living with HIV who urgently need treatment. Five people are newly infected with HIV for every two people who start treatment.

Large scale investments in the AIDS response have produced encouraging results. At the MDG summit in New York two weeks ago, UNAIDS revealed new data showing that HIV infections have declined by more than 25% in 22 countries most affected by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa; and with nearly 5.2 million people on antiretroviral therapy, AIDS related deaths have fallen.

Source: http://unaidstoday.org/

Doctor Bear…

Last August 14, Purrpz, my partner gave a doctor bear as a monthsary gift — A promise that he will take care of me forever. How sweet. I love you babe.