Tag Archive: DOH


Here’s a map on where the H4 pavillion and SACCL are at the San Lazaro compound which I took when I got my CD4 count. I got lost the very first time I went there and I don’t want my fellow pozzies to be in the same situation that I was in — lost at the TB ward. LOL.

I don’t where exactly is Quiricada street. Usually, I park at the DOH compound in front of the NEC building (LRT entrance) and then I just take a short walk to H4 or SACCL.

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I was endorsed by the DOH NEC officer in charge to the Dr. A for further counselling and medical guidace last Monday. As an eager beaver, I went to San Lazaro Hospital ahead of time. The path from DOH to H4 pavillion is quite a maze. I initially ended up at SACCL thinking that it’s the H4 pavillion.

I bumped into my ex at SACCL. It was also the day when he’ll get his lab result. We talked a bit while he’s waiting for his appointment with his doctor. When he got out, one of my worst fears have become a reality — he’s tested positive. I was apologetic to him but there’s nothing more that we can do but support each other.

When it’s my turn to talk to the doctor, I was informed that I was at the wrong building. H4 pavillion is another maze away from SACCL. I bid my ex and his friend goodbye as I had to hurry as I might miss my appointment. The doctor gave me vague directions how to get there and I ended up at the place where I should be at — the TB ward. I asked the manong janitor where H4 is and he gladly pointed the ill-maintained bungalow-type infrastructure nearby the TB ward.

Given that it’s my first time to be a patient at H4, the nurse got my vital statistics — weight, body temperature, etc. and then endorsed me to Dr. A. Had to wait for a few minutes as Dr. A is still counselling another patient (a cute guy actually. hehe). While waiting, other patients currently confined are discussing their current health status and the ARVs they’re currently taking. I hate to eavesdrop but I had no choice. Fear got the best of me that soon, I’ll be undergoing the same treatment that they’re currently taking and experience the side effects of the drugs once I need to start taking ARV medication.

When came my turn, Dr. A gave me a brief run through of what HIV is all about, what it is not, and the things that I should change in my current lifestyle. As a first timer, she had me fill-up a record form and then asked me for my preferred codename — It’s Fred. She also gave me my reference number — H4 2010 XX which will I use in all my H4 transactions. She also gave me a prescription of the set of lab tests that I need to take to identify opportunistic infections dormant in my body and scheduled me for my CD4 count blood extraction on April 29. I’ll also be scheduled for an appointment with their psychologist to aid me in letting go of the things that I need to let go.

Well, I’ll be back on Thursday next week. Hopefully, I’ll not be lost again. Given that Thursday is San Lazaro’s OPD day, hopefully, I’ll be able to meet a new set of friends — fellow Filipinos infected with the HIV virus

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.┬áThe 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.