The official site of The Project Red Ribbon Care Management Foundation, Inc. (TRR).

  • TRR LOVE FUND

    TRR Love Fund is the arm of the foundation which provides medical assistance to the financially challenged PLHIV.

  • Care assistance for HIV Test

    The Care Assistant Program involves assistance to HIV testing and HIV and AIDS Treatment hubs in the Philippines. Our volunteers schedule the client to the clinic or hub, assist with the procedure in the clinic or hub and conduct peer counseling

  • HOTLINE ASSISTANCE

    With the TRR Hotline Numbers, our volunteers answer concerns and inquiries about HIV and AIDS, do counselling, refers clients to nearest HIV Testing facility, HIV and AIDS Treatment Hub and government and NGO organizations for support

  • PEER COUNSELING

    The foundation volunteers conduct one-on-one counseling either on the phone or in person. They also conduct group counseling

  • SUPPORT GROUP TALK

    The support group talk (SGT) is a program that involves giving HIV lectures by guest speakers, discuss topics about HIV, care, treatment and support, discussion issues related to HIV

  • OUTREACH PROGRAM

    The foundation's outreach program is geared towards providing support to our fellow PLHIV's in the HIV and AIDS Treatment Hubs. Volunteers hand out of donations of medicines and special gifts to PLHIV, give inspirational talks by invited guests to a group of PLHIV, bonding over snacks or meal, visit the sick who are confined in the hospital

  • Referral System

    As part of treatment, the foundation's referral program involves our volunteers referring clients to specialized doctors who are HIV friendly. The foundation has it's own list of specialty doctors of low cost for the indigent PLHIV.

  • Online Support Group

    The foundation has a private Online Support Group in facebook. This group of advocates, supporters, counselors, health Workers and PLHIV

  • Home Health

    Aside from client counselling, the foundation volunteers also do family counselling and home visitation for awareness and continuance of care.

  • Health Fitness

    The foundation believes in holistic approach to treatment and care, thus inclusion of these programs: yoga, dance, swimming, jogging and running, boot camp workouts

  • EVENTS

    As part of awareness and education program, the foundation organizes its own national events to coincide with the international AIDS events: World AIDS Day and International AIDS Candlelight Memorial

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Comments and Replies

Because my blog is full of entries, I can’f find the entries that you guys commented on so I might as well respond to comments on this entry.


1. Comment : “If there is an award for HIV blogs, your blog will surely win!”.

Pozziepinoy’s Reply: Thanks but my blog wasn’t intended to be in competition with other blogs. I just want to be straight forward, factual and serious. Having AIDS is a serious matter and the impact of it is so devastating that one really has to be careful in advising or even discussing it. My initial intention was a blog that would serve as a diary but later on it became a blog to reach out to other people who have the same condition as I have. I try to be as factual as possible and I do my researches and my interviews as well because I know people are paying attention. My blog is also a way for me to help people financially with their lab test struggles. 
     
Thanks to all the guys who have been emailing and even though I am quite busy right now, I still make it a point to reply back. I know our staggering statistics so I know there are people who are confused who need some words of encouragement!


2. Comment: “Before I was diagnosed last February 13, I was hospitalized twice (Aug and Dec last year) and the diagnosis was TB Adenitis (TB of the lymph nodes). I completed my Quad Tab for 2 months, and now I’m on my first month of a 4-month regimen of Rimactazid (Rifampicin and Isoniazid). It will end on July 14, so I guess I’ll start ARV treatment by then? Anyhow I hope my SAGIP specialist would know better.”

Pozziepinoy’s Reply: Thanks for the comment. I helped 2 pozzies before who had tuberculosis and I don’t know if some hubs would allow ARV treatment at the same time with the TB medications. One thing for sure, in RITM-ARG according to Dr. D and Ate Ellen, they give ARV treatment even while undergoing TB treatment and the two pozzies that I assisted are still on them now (one, after just a month, is now looking for a job!)

I don’t know if SAGIP will advice you to start ARV treatment but I know for sure that you need to get ARV treatment fast especially if you’re CD4 is below 350. 

You can ask your doctor to have your CD4 test done ASAP so you will know the status of your immune system and by then you will be able to know if you are indeed in need of ARV treatment or not. If SAGIP won’t allow you to have the ARV treatment while having TB medications, ARG will allow you to. But it is your choice. What I know is that the earlier you take the ARV’s, the higher the chance for your CD4 count to recover fast. This means that for a CD4 count below 100 (like mine), it will take months or even years to go up to above 350. CD4 counts above 300 can improve to normal levels in just months. My only point here is why wait?

Unfortunately, the ARV's are so expensive here that we don't have a choice but to get them from the hubs. In the US (and maybe in other first world countries), they start taking ARV's even when their CD4 counts are 400 or 500. This means that their CD4 counts can go recover fast. However the cost is pretty outstanding too but they have insurance to cover for them. Since we get our ARV's for free, we have to follow the rules of each hub and their cut off is 350 and below. So for those CD4 counts that are higher than that, they will be advised to just take multivitamins and stay healthy and will be asked again to come back for another 6 months.


3. Comment: “ I agree. Reading poz stories help boosting one’s morale. But not all the time, though..... I read a couple of sad stories that scared the shit out of me. One is about a poz who got cancer (lymphoma) shortly after taking ARVs... and another, who actively blogged his HIV journey, then stopped blogging after hisCD4 count dropped so low.”
  
Pozziepinoy’s Reply: I agree with you. It scares the shit out of me too ... ALL THE TIME! But I am keeping a very POSITIVE attitude about everything. The ARV’s really are scary but the best way to lessen this burden is to update your doctor all the time. Report all your physical findings especially when you feel something different. When I was in SAGIP I was taught on how to check my own lymph nodes and up to now I am still checking them out. 

I am in no position to say something about the poz who claimed to have had lymphoma after taking ARV’s. I am not sure if ARV’s can cause it but the HIV itself can definitely cause it. Only the doctor can tell you. 

I strongly believe that we have the responsibility to take care of ourselves by closely monitoring our bodies. The technique is to report everything to the your ID doctors fast because they want to prevent those other complications. Well that’s what I do up to now. I proactively ask my doctor for advice if I feel and see something different. When I had sore eyes, I reported it to DR. D fast and she told me to go and ask the advice of an opthalmologist and my ARV’s are ok with any eye medications. When I had chest pain (later turned out to be just heartburn), I called my friend doctor fast who asked me to consult my pulmo doctor.

I also agree with you that there are some poz who started blogging, then when their CD4 dropped, they stopped too. It is sad but each has his own way of dealing with things. What I can tell you guys is this: that even though my CD4 count will drop, I will still report it here because it is really possible and it is the reality. My blog is all about facts and I want to share my entire journey with everybody. What is important is how I would deal with it and in that way, you guys can learn something from me. 


4. Comment: “I thought you’re taking efav with an empty stomach? How come you take all 4 at once?”

Pozziepinoy’s Reply: I am taking all my ARV’s on an empty stomach. The tenofovir  ( 1 tab) and lamivudine (2 tabs) can be taken with or without food so my SAGIP doctor, DR. R. and Dr. D. from ARG told me told to take all at the same time with efavirenz (1 tab).  Why separate them all when I can easily take them all at once? 

When I first started taking my ARV’s my ID doctor adviced me to take them separately: tenofovir at 8am, lamivudine at 12 noon and efavirenz at 10 pm (empty stomach). This was so to just monitor the tablets’ side effects. The only one that had side effect was efavirenz because I felt them after taking it. After 3 weeks, after switching doctors, Dr. D told me to take all my ARV’s all at once at 10pm on an empty stomach.

It’s your doctor’s call no matter what but ask if you’re really interested in taking them all at the same time. Ask your doctor if you want to change schedules and ask him or her on how to change it.


5. Comment: “ARG is so far from my place. Nearest to me is SAGIP. I hope that I won’t have any horror stories in SAGIP.”

Pozziepinoy’s Reply: Go to a hub that is convenient for you. I don’t have anything against SAGIP because they really helped me a lot in dealing with my first ARV experience. It wasn’t a horror experience but a very intellectual decision that my team of doctors in my private hospital had to decide on.

I am very sure that SAGIP will give you the best care but always question things. It is your body .. it is your health so be proactive!




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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Eye Check Up

Had my eye check up today in American Eye Clinic. They did a thorough check up and I am glad everything was ok.

When I was filling up their form, I came across the question if I was taking any medications, but I decided not to disclose anything. Anyway, if they would find something, then that will be the time that I will tell them about my health issue. I guess, it really is better to have your own personal doctor to whom you can disclose everything. I will ask my doctor friend then if she can refer me to her ophthalmologist friends.

So far that was the first test this week that I took. It was just a spur of the moment thing, but still good thing I had my eyes checked. I called Dr. D today and already scheduled an appointment with her. I texted Ate Ellen too and she will be expecting me next week in ARG.




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Heartburn!


I really thought it was something else. For 2 days, I felt slight heaviness in my chest. I did not have fever though but it did bother me. I told Tag about it and he told me to tell Dr. D about it. I told him that I will wait for another day and if it won’t disappear I’ll go to the hospital and have it checked.

Not thinking about it helped. Also since I’ve been hunching a lot lately, I tried to correct my posture too. I got busy with work and forgot about it and by the end of the day, I became gassy and belching and farting (sorry, too much info). Then I realized this happened to me before when I got sick. When I had chest pain I would just belch and the pain would go away! Heartburn, that’s what it is!

Good thing today everything is back to normal but of course I still have to report it to my doctor this coming Thursday or Friday when she is available. I just wish nothing really is wrong with me but it’s better to be proactive this time. 

Two more days and it’s my check up day. I’m excited and at the same time a little nervous. I guess that is just a normal feeling!




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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Are You Still Dizzy???

Is it just me? I don't know the statistics. But what I know is I don't experience dizziness from efavirenz  even when I stay up hours after taking it. I take it at exactly 10pm and even when I am up til 3am (ok, I know it's not good to stay up late, but I am just making a point here), I still don't feel dizzy.

So how am I doing it? I just followed the packet in the box that comes with it... take it on an empty stomach! My doctor from SAGIP before said an empty stomach means having your last meal 4 hours prior to your intake of efavirenz, and she was indeed right! I just followed her although my previous ID, Dr. T said 2 hours is ok. Even Dr. D said 2 hours is still ok but still I stuck with 4 hours. It really helps lessen the side effects.

I researched on this before and I found out that an 'empty stomach' medicine is absorbed not in the stomach but a little past that, like in the small intestine. So if your stomach is empty, the efavirenz won't be dissolved there since there is no gastric juice present (which is triggered by food) but will just slip off past the stomach. If there is any activity in the stomach (eating prior to taking it), efavirenz will surely will be digested in the stomach by the gastric juices and out comes the side effects.

There was a research too that cold water is best to take efavirenz with since hot or warm water can also trigger the gastric juice release. Well, I didn't come to that far yet but I always take it with what water is in our dispenser.

It is making sense up to now because I can stay up late past my 10 pm and don't experience anything. My last meal is 6pm and I am already used to it for 6 months now. Although at first it was hard for me to not eat in the evenings but somehow, I got used to it and I believe it is paying off. Tag and I can watch late night movies on DVD's, watch concerts or watch a movie in a movie house and I don't experience any dizziness. So efavirenz is not a hassle to me anymore.

Maybe it is just me. Maybe it is just working like this with me. But you guys can try it.

So are you still dizzy with efavirenz? Well, I am not!




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Eat and Try to be Healthy

"Eat and try to be healthy". That's what I told a new pozzie who I have been communicating with recently. I have been assisting him through his "journey", giving him all the tips that I can think of, answering all his questions about the virus and sharing all my experiences. I know it is hard to give him all because I am not a doctor but the wisdom is coming from my experiences so I am sharing everything with him.

"Eat and be healthy". That is the best way to combat the ill effects of our virus and somehow the ARV's. By eating, we nourish our embattled selves. By eating, we strengthen ourselves. By eating we protect ourselves from the onslaught of OI's. But how to eat is now the question.

When I got sick I psyched up myself by telling myself that I have to eat 7x a day. Every 2 hours I ate meals and snacks. Healthy foods like fruits and vegetables were mainstays of my diet and of course coupled with energy foods and body building foods. I also thought that I can't lose weight because every time that I lost weight before, I also became weak. I devoured food while I was on cotri and azithro. I ate more on azithro day since I know that I will have diarrhea or stomach upset when I take it since the dosage is very high, i.e., 1250mg per day. In one month I packed myself with additional 15 to 20 pounds. Our virus is pretty active so I know that it will increase my metabolism so I continued eating even while I was on ARV's. It really helped.

I guess my being so positive helped me. I was scared of getting thin--- that was my idea of an HIV/AIDS person. I was scared of muscle dystrophy, of muscle wasting. I was scared to look bad. That perhaps triggered it... my eating habit. But it was a win win situation because in thinking so and by doing so, I gained more strength to combat the ill effects of the disease.

That is what I've been advising a new poz. "Eat and be healthy". It all starts from that. Have a positive attitude and fight back. That is the best defense we can do. Because if we don't, if we always think negative and not look beyond whatever illness we have, then we will be stuck there.. we won't get over the wall. We need to get a hammer and break that wall and fight with our improving health. Striking back all starts with a stronger self and it all start with eating and getting healthy again!



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Agitated


Like what I mentioned before in my recent entries, I will be having my 6th month lab exams this coming week. I am getting a little nervous that I felt chest pain this afternoon (pretty psychosomatic eh). I know that the nurse will draw blood again for all my blood work and my CD4 and another chest xray for comparison to be shown to my pulmo. 

So this week and the following week, I will be stressed with my schedules with my 3 hospitals: one for my check up with Dr. D., one for my check up with Dr. T and in RITM where I will get all my lab exams since according to Ate Ellen all will be free since I already am on PhilHealth package when I first enrolled in ARG.

I am scheduling my hospital visits so I can inform people from work that I will be off on those days. Of course, priority now is my health. I am nervous but still kinda excited because this time I am pretty proactive when it comes to these medical check ups.

I am also preparing all my physical findings for the last 3 months since I last saw Dr. D. I always report everything in a table form so I am already filling up all the data needed. I am also adding another column for my vaccinations so she will know what have been given to me.

Like before, I will be composing all the questions that I need to ask her to maximize my consultation time with her. I will be needing a prescription from her on the lab tests that I need to get in RITM. 
I just wish everything will be ok. But no matter what, I feel ok.. just a little tensed. 



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Friday, February 24, 2012

Email 5: Another One

I received an email last January and it went like this.

“I'm XXX, just tested positive last March 2011.  The most difficult thing was when I got my first cd4 count.  It was only 9.  Now its 38.  Still very low.  Count yourselves lucky.  I hope we could communicate so we can share. God Bless.”

I was out of the country at that time but I emailed him back with my cell number.

When I came back we were already communicating and he had a lot of questions about my situation and my hub. He became interested with my doctor as he had doubts with his current doctor in his hub. I told him that he has the choice to seek for second opinion or even switch doctors if he wants to because it’s important that he trusts his doctor with his health and he agreed with me. He asked me if I can patch him up with Dr. D and knowing how low his CD4 still up to now, I texted Dr. D if she can take him in as a private patient. She replied back and said yes.

That was January and every now and then we would text each other up. Today, I received a text from him telling me that he was outside the clinic of Dr. D and was very thankful for helping him out. After the consultation he was asked to get his viral load from ARG and he planned to go there next week.

Another guy has been helped and assisted and I am happy again. 




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Email 4: Brother's Concern

This is a love letter actually. This is so heart warming so I am posting it in my blog and to the writer I hope you don’t mind. I deleted some pertinent information to protect you guys’ identity. I just think that other readers will learn something about your experience. I am in close coordination now with the brother and I make it a point to communicate with him everyday and check on his status. I always encourage him to stay positive and that soon he will be back on his feet again.

It is a great treasure to have loving and caring family. And to you, the writer, you have a great heart and I know your brother will be in great shape soon like most of us are now. 

“Hi pozzie.


 Your blog is a blessing, especially to us affected.

My brother's been diagnosed positive lately. He's started his 2-week ARV regimen this month, nevirapine + lamivudine. He's now on his 7th day, and signs are showing. 38-39 on-off fever, body weakness, vomitting, some chest pains, etc. He called XXX and was advised to stop nevirapine. He took biogesic for fever as he was told he now can.

I can't take him there as he is too physically weak. He asked me to give you his number, XXX. He would really love to have a talk with you; so we really hope he can call you, if you could give your number.

You must know how truly helpful your blog is. The family is so devastated, and I turned to the net to search for help. I saw your blog, and it's such a treasure. We're really hard put how to start from where. But one thing's for sure, we're not leaving him for dead. And we're all out to support him all the way. 

I hope I can do all these communication with you, for him, in the meantime that he's really too weak to get up and use the internet.

He badly needs help from people like you. Hope you can give him the chance to talk with each other.
Thanks much.

pozzitoo”




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Target: 15 & Above

Just read this article by Jenny F. Manongdo in Manila Bulletin. She cited an official of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS saying that the “the incidence of HIV in the Philippines is a ‘challenge’ aside from being a ‘rising trend’ as more young people are getting infected with the disease.

In her article, she interviewed Teresita Marie P. Bagasao, the UNAIDS Country Coordinator who also said that they have even reported infections as young as 15, because of unprotected sex. Bagasao also reiterated that in the past, the mean age of individuals becoming infected with HIV is late 20’s. Today, she said, there are people who are in their early 20’s that are being diagnosed as HIV positive.

It is unfortunate for the country, really. As young as 15? At that time I was not even thinking about sex yet, but more so on how to pass my algebra exam. At 15 I was in total care of my parents who were still guiding me through my education. It is really hard to take but I guess the society now is different with all the accessibilities to the internet, social networking and DVD pornography all over the country. Time has changed a lot. 

I know there are things to be done and I am not here, I reiterate, to help with the prevention of HIV/AIDS because I know 99% of the NGO’s are already doing that. My real mission in life is to assist individuals lighten up their burden by answering al their queries about the disease and the hub and treatment and to reach out to people who are in dire need of financial assistance.

There is hope still, as long as people will just open up their eyes. We are all still deaf about  HIV/AIDS and maybe it’s about time to listen up and pay attention.




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One Week To Go


Yesterday I texted my good doctor friend, B. I asked her if I need to see Dr. T, my pulmonologist. If you guys know my medical history, I had 2 bouts of pneumonia last year, so I was thinking since it will be my 6th month in March taking ARV's, I might as well have my lungs checked again. B asked first if I am coughing and having chest pains and I told her that there were moments especially when I am tired but won't last long as long as I rest. I also told her that I have a pneumonia vaccination last January already. She told me that I might as well have a pulmo capacity test then. I told her that I will tell Dr. D about it on my check up with her. In the afternoon, B texted again and she told me that she talked to Dr. T and the latter said that I should have a chest Xray first before going to him, just for comparison. I told her that I might as well do it, of course with Dr. D's approval now that she is my attending physician. Last night I told Tag about it and he agreed to what B recommended.

It is really good that I have a team of doctors who are working with me to battle the virus inside me. It helps alleviate all my fears dwelling in me. I know it is a challenge every time I go to them but I know it is a responsibility to myself, to Tag and to my family. I don't want to get sick again and by keeping a positive attitude towards all the lab exams that I will once again be undergoing, I know that everything will pay off in the end.

So next week, I will see Dr. D again to get a check up and a prescription for all the lab exams (including CD4) that I will be needing for my 6th month health status. I might as well do everything in RITM to maximize the use of the PhilHealth insurance. I just texted Ate Ellen to check on my insurance status so I will know if I need to bring money when I go there next week too. So basically for the next 2 weeks I will once again be going back to my hub and my private hospital for my checkup. I do wish that nothing is wrong with me this time, but if ever they find something new, I will still be glad that I was proactive this time in checking on my health.

Tag once asked me before what my reaction will be if we find out that my CD4 is still low. I told him that I am not worried at all since I know that for months now, I am in good health, I guess in best health for years now. If it's low, then I have one lifetime to wait for it to go up again. That's how positive I am.




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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On Guard!


“Always remember that you have AIDS!” That’s what I am telling myself all the time. Is it because I might forget that I still have the virus inside me and that I should always be alert? Is it because I might let my guard down and allow the opportunistic infections to get a hold of my health again?

For almost 6 months now, I’ve never been sick again. Like what I wrote before, I’ve never been afflicted with any illnesses. No fever, no diarrhea (well, except on my azithro day which is definitely related to it). tag said I am in my best health now and I agree. There were times when I get bouts of a little cough, maybe because of me getting tired from work but nothing serious. I don’t catch a cold nor flu too and that is good.

Should I still be concerned? YES! I have a virus in me that I have to pay close attention too. I maybe feeling healthy now but there are opportunistic infections still out there ready to attack. 
I don’t want to be sick ever again so I have to do my part: 
  1. Proper hygiene, all the time. 
  2. Keep fit. Exercise regularly.
  3. Eat healthy. If you can avoid street food.
  4. Rest. Don’t over do yourself. Infections can attack when you are at your weakest.
  5. Keep your environment clean. Use alcogels or alcohol when necessary.
  6. Use handkerchief or a mask in a crowded place, or just avoid crowding.


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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lose Weight


Well, I stopped working out again after I started working. I know I know, but I slowly am losing weight because of my tedious job, but still it is unhealthy for me not to exercise. My health should be a priority so I have to do it again... well, starting tomorrow and that's a promise to myself.

I also dropped my diet program and I am eating like crazy again. Thanks to this, now my belly is getting big again. This has to stop. I can't allow this to happen, especially now that we are planning to go to Boracay again. This would be hard, but I know I can do it.

I have to start tomorrow no matter what. I have all the knowledge about it so that won't be a problem. I have access to our gym too so no more excuse for me. I know I can do it and it takes just discipline to do it.   I also have to get into the habit of workout on a regular basis so I won't miss any session. I have too. For a better physique and good health!




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138th Day

Today is my 138th day of taking ARV's. I am still recording everything up to now in case you guys are wondering. My adherence to my meds is still 100%. Never I have I been late or ever have missed my daily intake. I am still on cotri and azithro and I feel that my life is incomplete without them. I feel that they are my ritual vitamins, the things that will make me complete my day.

I don't feel or see any side effects. I feel normal like before so for those of you who are scared of taking ARV's, the challenge really is just the beginning. As you fight with the virus, you somehow gain your control back on your body.

Like before, I am back to working again and building my future with Tag. With my income, I want to buy Tag a new car in a few months. I know I can do it. I love him so much and I will do everything to make him happy. He is my life and my future. Life is not worth living without him.

My next blood work and CD4 test is coming in 2 weeks and I will see Dr. D again and give her a full report about my status. I will give her a a table of my progress so she will know that I am serious about my health condition. Tag and I decided to do all my tests in RITM since my CD4 test is there. So by the first of March I will be seeing Letlet and Ate Ellen again. I need to buy them gifts for they are so friendly to me.

Am I excited to see the results? Of course I am. But no matter what I feel good now and even though the results won't turn out that great, I know I would still feel GREAT!



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Email 2 & 3


I love writing entries to my blogs because I know someone, a new person, a new pozzie will somehow find it and read what I wrote, about my struggles and my researches. I know somehow, my entries can clear up a confused mind and calm down an anxious heart. So even though I am quite busy with my job lately, I know I have a responsibility to myself and to others. I know that my mission is forever and helping other people with their struggles is comforting.

This February, I was able to help another pozzie with the financial burden of his illness. I am still on it and still keeping the promise to myself. Ate Ellen from ARG was careful with her referrals though because she doesn’t people to abuse my generosity. But really, I don’t care. As long as it is needed, I would be willing to help. I told Tag about that and he gave me a go signal. We know it is hard to have this illness, with all the cost of the lab exams. We know, there will be a financial struggle too so it is better to reach out to people who need our help. I can offer only a little but what is important is that I can still help.

I’ve been receiving heartwarming emails from new pozzies, telling me about my entries in the blog. They said that through my blog, I somehow have helped them out in some ways in their new “journey” (I used your term, sir). I am always happy to help, even with my busy schedule now. I corresponded with the new pozzies and try to answer all their queries. It makes me alive and fulfilled.. it still gives me a sense of purpose in life. Also, it makes me be aware that even though I am back to my normal life, I still have the virus living within me.

One message that I got came from another brother of a pozzie. I had experience before, corresponding with a brother of a pozzie who was so supportive. I also referred him to my doctor and now and then we text each other and I am happy that his condition somehow stabilized over time. With this new pozzie that I am communicating now, he is still weak and I am encouraging him to be strong physically and emotionally. I am teaching him my techniques on how to fight back the illness that come with virus. I knew his struggles and I encouraged him that by holding on and having a positive attitude, everything will be ok. I believe that just being there for someone is a big thing. It helps relieve some of the pain and stress that come with the virus. Directly it helps me too because I feel that life is an everyday battle and it would be hard to fight a battle with nobody to fight with. 

I told this new pozzie to eat more to regain his strength back. It was hard for him, I know but I just encouraged him to keep on trying because his body needs nutrients to fight back.  I told him to change his attitude and his focus should be directly solely on getting strong again. The mind is stronger than the body so use that strength to stand up again. 

Another message that I got was from a new pozzie who is now facing his new “journey”. I am glad that I am there with him. We still communicate and I still answer his questions. He told me that he is glad that even though we just text, he feels that he is with somebody with his struggle. I am still encouraging him to fight. I am motivating him to stay positive. Sometimes, I would ask Angel, a fellow pozzie for questions about his hub just to answer this new pozzie’s questions and I am grateful that I still have a group of pozzies that I can ask if I am not sure about certain things. A pool of information is all around, a pool of local experience is better that what we just read online.

But really thank you to all my readers. Thank you to those who have been emailing me. Indirectly you are helping me too.




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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

HIV Alert!

Day 127

It has been a while since my last post. Everything came back to normal... like nothing happened. I am so happy with Tag and my work. Everything is fine. Everything is ok. I am back to being a workaholic which I enjoy the most, but of course with precautions. I get tired after work but there is a fulfillment that I can't explain. I am helping people again. I am in the mainstream again.

Today is my 127th day of taking my ARV's. So far, no more side effects. My ARV adherence is still 100% : no missed or late intakes. The habit has seeped into me. It's like life is not complete without the ARV's (which in my condition, it should be). My timers are incredibly helpful. Even while in a movie house, or watching TV, or watching a broadway show, I am patiently waiting for my alarm. It is set at 9:58pm and I made it a point to wait for the alarm to sound before I take it. Tag even said why not take it in advance, but reiterated that a habit becomes a habit when you are very strict with it. So that's it, I am always on time.

Physically I am in my best health. I don't get sick anymore. I don't catch a cold or a flu. I haven't experienced diarrhea for almost 6 months now. Maybe because of all my vaccinations or my being pretty careful. But whatever the reason is, I am very thankful. It is expensive to get sick and I, for one, won't allow it to happen ever again.

I have only a few contacts now from the group from twitter. I am sorry that my busy schedule has hampered my communications with them. I receive once in awhile text messages of greetings and usually I just reply back. However, unlike before, when I had time, I would really dive in to conversations but nowadays, it's hard. I know that they are still around, blogging still, and helping other pozzies to deal with their conditions.

I have helped somebody last month financially. This month, I want to just give financial help again to somebody... and I know there is somebody there who would want it. Ate Ellen is pretty hesitant to refer patients to me but I am encouraging her still.

End of February, I plan to see Dr. D to have prescription for all the lab exams that I have to take for March.  Tag and I have already saved up for it, so by mid March I will be able to know my 6th month CD4 and my VL. I am crossing my fingers that everything will be ok, but I have already contemplated that no matter what the outcome is, I am staying positive. Nothing can bring me down. If it's still low, then so be it... there is still time for improvement... and I have a lifetime to make my CD4 go up and my VL to go down.

With a great and loving partner, with a great family beside me, with good friends around me, with a fulfilling career, I know that everything is and will be ok.




FOR TOPIC SUGGESTIONS, please email me at pozziepinoy@yahoo.com
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Thursday, February 2, 2012

"What's Your CD4?"

People have been emailing me. "What's your CD4 now?" Well, I don't know because I haven't taken the test yet again. I will surely know in March. But to be honest with you guys, I am not even worried if it's still low or it is already high. What is important to me is that I feel good now. I feel healthier and I don't get sick. Tag is even worried about my CD4. He said he's been having dreams about it, but me, no. I love what  I am now.

I am staying positive no matter what. My strength is myself. I believe in my doctor and I believe in my ARV's. I guess I am just telling myself that no matter what the "number" is I will still be OK. If it turns out with a little difference, so what? If it's a high number then it's great. But no matter what the outcome is, I still have a stronger, inner positive self that will tell me that everything will be OK.




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My 121th Day


I should have wrote on my 120th day cuz that would have been my 4th month of taking my ARV's. Work to me has been exciting and coming back after an ordeal is a fulfillment.

Well, on my monthly report, I guess everything is great. No more physical side effects. I sleep good. No itching or rashes. No dizziness, just once in a while regular dreams.

What's good about the ARV's is that since the time I started taking them, I've never been sick again. I don't catch a cold or flu, don't experience frequent diarrhea's anymore. Everything's perfect. I feel healthier now.

I work hard again and yet I don't get easily tired. Before I would take naps because I get tired but now I just have a good night's sleep. Even Tag noticed it.

My adherence to the ARV's is still 100%. No late or missed intake. The habit has been formed and never have I broken it. It is a commitment to myself, to Tag, to my family and to all friends who prayed for me.

My commitment to prevention of OI's is impeccable. I Still do my rituals. It is better to be safe than be bedridden again. I just can't allow that to happen again.

I told myself that I am back for a healthier me. My work is outstanding again and people forgot that I got sick awhile back. Everything is normal. I owe this all to my doctor, my ARV's, my immunizations and Tag. The ordeal can't happen again and I up to know should not forget that I still have the virus in me so I stay vigilant.




FOR TOPIC SUGGESTIONS, please email me at pozziepinoy@yahoo.com
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