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, May 30, 2012

You Are Still Alive!

With the ill effects of HIV/AIDS we somehow feel that everything is hopeless. We feel that it's the end of the line for us. We feel that everything is crushing down on us. But wait, we are still alive. We are still capable of fighting back!

Well, in my humble opinion and based on my experiences, everything can be reversed and we can all be healthy again as long as we strengthen ourselves physically and psychologically. We alone can fight it!

When I got sick before and when I was first diagnosed, these were the things that I planted in my mind:

1. I will get well.
2. HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence anymore.
3. In the Philippines, the ARV's (HAART) are free.
4. There are HIV/AIDS hubs that give free consultation
5. I have a strong support system from my loved ones
6. I have good doctors surrounding me who are willing to help me with my condition
7. The world is full of literature about my condition.
8. There are other people living with HIV/AIDS who are doing very well now.
9. The side effects of the ARV's will go away.
10. Adjustment is hard only during the first 2 to 3 months.

So far so good. I am almost on my 8th month now and I feel that I'm in my best health.

My secret?

1. I believe in my doctors. I listen to them.
2. I believe in the medicines. I believe that my ARV's will help me strengthen my immune system. I make sure that I don't get late or will miss any intakes of my meds.
3. I protect myself from illnesses. I make sure that eat and live a healthy lifestyle.
4. I pay back. I help others through counselling and by promoting The Love Fund which is a venue for helping other persons with HIV/AIDS with financial support.




Benefits of Exercise


Exercise has been proven to provide many health benefits, ranging from increased aerobic fitness to improved mood for the general population. Although healthcare professionals previously recommended that persons with HIV/AIDS refrain from exercise due to concerns of symptom exacerbation or increased risk of infection, current research implies that persons with HIV/AIDS can reap some of the same benefits of exercise as the general population. Today, therapeutic exercise is becoming a more commonly prescribed alternative therapy for persons with HIV/AIDS, although many physicians refrain from prescribing exercise. Much more research is needed to categorize all the benefits of exercise for persons with HIV/AIDS. Some existing studies show conflicting results or inconclusive findings, often due to small sample sizes because of dropouts. However, much of the research does show definitive results of several exercise benefits.

The overall immunological safety of exercise for persons with HIV/AIDS has been widely researched. Previous concerns revolved around the belief that exercise could result in decreased effectiveness of the immune system, and possible decrease in CD4 cell count. However, several studies have shown that CD4 cell count does not change significantly with exercise, thus concluding that exercise is likely to be safe for persons with HIV/AIDS.

A study conducted by Stringer et al. (1998) considered the changes of aerobic function with exercise training. In addition to a control group, participants were divided into moderate- and high-intensity exercise groups, and participants engaged in respective aerobic exercise plans. The study revealed statistically significant increases in VO2 max changes as well as lactic acidosis threshold (LAT) in the moderate- and high-intensity groups. Studies conducted by Thoni et al. (2002), and Perna et al. (1999) yield similar results, thus supporting the aerobic benefits of exercise to persons with HIV/AIDS.

Studies regarding the effects of exercise on lipodystrophy have also been conducted. A pilot study conducted by Roubenoff et al. (1999) indicated that exercise has the potential to improve body composition in HIV/AIDS associated lipodystrophy. Participants in the study engaged in 20 minutes of aerobic activity followed by 1 hour of resistance training three times per week. Results yielded a significant decline in total body fat of participants, most of which occurred in the trunk. Smith et al. (2001) found similar results in their study in which participants reduced weight, body mass index (BMI), subcutaneous fat, and central fat. Based on current research, it appears that exercise can aid in reducing fat deposits caused by lipodystrophy. Persons who experience lipodystrophy also often experience elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Studies have been performed to determine if exercise can decrease these levels, but have yielded conflicting results. Jones, Doran, Leat, Maher, and Piromhamed (2001) conducted a study in which six participants engaged in aerobic exercise and resistance training program approximately 90 minutes per week for 10 weeks. The results yielded a significant decrease in total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations upon completion of the program. Conversely, Birk, MacArthur, Lipton, and Levine (2002) conducted a study in which five participants engaged in aerobic exercise 40 minutes three times per week for 12 months. The results yielded no significant change in total cholesterol, but an increase in triglycerides. The small sample sizes and variation in length of the studies cannot provide a definitive determination; thus more research on this topic needs to be implemented.

Although muscle wasting is not as prevalent in the U.S. as it was a decade ago, persons with HIV/AIDS are still at risk. Exercise can be used to prevent wasting as well as to combat wasting. Roubenoff, Abad, and Lundgren (2001) reported findings from a study indicating that the ability to respond to exercise with protein synthesis is maintained in HIV wasting. Zinna and Yarasheski (2003) further established that regular exercise can mitigate muscle protein wasting. Progressive resistance training (PRT) can be used to increase muscle mass and strength in non-wasting persons, and to preserve existing muscle in patients who have muscle wasting.

Participating in exercise can also result in psychological benefits. In a study conducted by Stringer et al. (1998), participants completed a Quality of Life (QOL) questionnaire at entry and after completion of the study. The participants who engaged in exercise during the study improved in all questions on the QOL. Some of the benefits of exercise, such as decreased lipodystrophy, could also result in psychological benefits.

Current exercise guidelines for persons with HIV/AIDS vary, depending on the stage of the person's HIV/AIDS, medications, functional capacity, and symptoms. It is recommended to consult with the person's physician before implementing a program. Most exercise prescriptions consist of endurance or resistance exercises, or a combination. It is important to have the client warm-up at a low intensity, followed by static stretching. Aerobic exercise should be moderate in intensity, as high-intensity exercise is thought to depress immune function. Ideally, start with 15 minutes and gradually increase to 40 minutes, three times per week. Resistance exercise should be performed three days per week, if possible, waiting a full day between sessions. Exercises should target all major muscle groups, and should range in intensity, based on the client's ability. Clients should begin slowly with low weight, repetitions, and sets and gradually increase over time. After aerobic or resistance exercise is completed, the client should engage in cool-down exercise followed by static stretching (Brewi, 2001). Throughout exercise, it is important to make sure the client stays properly hydrated.

Alternatively, Bopp et al. (2003) recommend the number of weekly sessions start low and be increased until the patient can tolerate three to five sessions per week. If the patient is debilitated, a 40-minute session, for example, can be broken up into four 10-minute sessions until the client can work up to a continuous 40-minute session. In addition, Bopp et al. recommend the client complete 4 to 6 weeks of aerobic training before starting a resistance training program in order to improve conditioning and prevent overtraining.

There are several contraindications to exercise in individuals with HIV/AIDS. Workouts should be cancelled if the client is experiencing swollen joints, vomiting, diarrhea, severe dizziness, profuse night sweating, open sores or oozing lesions, bleeding gums, pain on bottoms of feet or in hands, or blood in urine or stool (Youssouf, date unknown). In addition, some persons with HIV/AIDS have peripheral neuropathy. Exercise is believed to be helpful for neuropathy because it promotes circulation. However, if the neuropathy causes severe pain, refrain from exercising the affected area.

Despite evidence that exercise does not negatively affect immune measures and can impact many of the associated conditions of HIV/AIDS, some physicians still caution persons with HIV/AIDS against participating in structured physical activity (Bopp et al., 2003). Although many studies have been conducted pertaining to the effects of exercise on HIV/AIDS, many more need to be carried out to fill gaps in the research. The effects of HAART on the body and the long-term effects of HIV/AIDS and their correlation with exercise are new topics for research. In addition, existing studies focusing on such matters as the effect of exercise on lipodystrophy, cholesterol, and psychological well-being need to be further developed. Research for this paper included a large number of studies, several of which exhibited inconsistent or questionable results. The leading reason behind inconsistencies was due to small sample sizes or dropouts, which often skewed results. Researchers need to focus on gathering large sample sizes when designing future studies.

It is imperative that the benefits of exercise for people with HIV/AIDS be made known to persons with the disease as well as the healthcare professionals who treat them. Although many existing studies provide a foundation, more significant research needs to be completed to provide sound evidence of the importance and benefits of exercise. Future research should include large sample sizes and should differentiate studies between genders and stages of disease. Aside from the physical and emotional benefits, implementing exercise into the treatment of persons with HIV/AIDS is cost-effective and may provide alternative treatments to medication for certain symptoms. Today, persons with HIV/AIDS are living much longer lives; engaging in physical activity and exercise can only better these individuals' lives.




Credits:
http://www.health24.com/medical/Condition_centres/777-792-814-1760,22161.asp
www.ncpad.org/disability/fact_sheet.php?sheet=190&section=1388

HIV &AIDS Cases


Still Fighting


I know. I've not been blogging as frequent as before. I guess I'm busy? Well, that is true. But I am forgetting the fact that with my disease comes a responsibility. I now has the capacity to help others who are, right now undergoing a serious process in their lives. An experience that they won't forget for the rest of their lives.

For those who are reading my blog, I can proudly report to all of you that I've been healthy ever since I took my first tablets of ARV's. I had two bouts of colds this year but they never lasted for more than a week. Dr. Ditangco said they were just symptoms of the common cold and there was really nothing to worry about. In my last blog, I saw my team of doctors and they were all excited that I am in perfect health. They all noticed that I gained weight and they really hoped that I won't see them again. i.e., I won't get sick and seek for consultation. My pulmonologist said that the reason I am healthy right now is I follow all their orders, which is really true. I believe in them I believe in my ARV's that up to now I haven't missed or be late in taking them. I am always prompt. The habit has been embedded and I think I feel restless even thinking of breaking it.

I am still assisting up to now new pozzies and I make it a point to check the other pozzies that I was able to come in contact with thru text and emails. I still help in promoting The Love Fund of Dr. Ditangco which focuses on helping financially my fellow pozzies.

There is still a long way to go but on my way there I want to touch more people, help more people and be with people who are suffering the adverse effects of HIV. I know I can help in the best of my capacity.

I am still here!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hospital Visit



Today I went to see my doctors in the private hospital that I used to go during the early months of my illness. I saw my friend who has been my attending physician ever since I got sick, my pulmonologist and my GI doctor. All were shocked because they all said I looked so good... uhhhh and fat! Oh well, there was nothing to be ashamed of. The last time they saw me, which was almost 9 months ago, I was 140 pounds, unlike now that I am 165. 

I was with Tag and I am so glad that they all know us by our first names. My pulmonologist said that I looked good and has not even lost my big chest..hahaha. He added that it is because I have been very compliant to taking all my medicines and following all the doctors orders. He asked where I was getting all my medicines and who my current infectious disease doctor is. I told him that Dr. Ditangco, the head of RITM has been taking care of me ever since I left that private hospital. I asked him when I need to report to him again and he just said “as needed”. I told him that I had 2 bouts of colds for the past 9 months and that Dr. Ditangco said that it was just a common cold. My nephro friend told me that she was so glad to see me and that I really looked great. My GI doctor said that I look good and when I asked him when I should have a check up, he just smilingly said that he hopes not in the near future.

I was so happy to have visited. I had a sense of fulfillment going there. I know I owe it to them for making me healthy . I felt also that they had a sense of accomplishment from seeing me in a good condition. I felt a sense of bond with them I actually felt that they are not only my doctors but real good friends.

When I left I texted Dr. Ditangco and told her what happened. She replied that she too was happy with my accomplishments when it comes to my health.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

March 2012: New Cases


Read this from the Philippine HIV/AIDS Registry of the NEC/DOH:

Newly Diagnosed HIV/AIDS in the Philippines

In March 2012, there were 313 new HIV Ab sero-positive individuals confirmed by the STD/AIDS Cooperative  Central Laboratory (SACCL) and reported to the HIV and AIDS Registry. This was 82% higher compared to the same period last year, and the highest number of cases ever reported in the registry. Most of the cases (93%) were males. The median age was 29 years (age range: 2-81 years). The 20-29 year (52%) age-group had the most number of cases. Forty-seven percent (146) of the reported cases were from the National Capital Region (NCR). Reported mode of transmission were sexual contact 
(280), needle sharing among injecting drug users (31) and mother to child transmission (2). Males having sex with other males (83%) were the predominant type of sexual transmission. Most (95%) of the cases were still asymptomatic at the time of reporting. 

AIDS Cases

Of the 313 HIV positive cases, seventeen were reported as AIDS cases, 16 males and 1 female. The median age is 31 years (age range: 24-42 years). All cases acquired the infection through sexual contact (7 homosexual, 7 bisexual and 3 heterosexual). Of the 
AIDS cases, there were three reported death for this month; two were males and one was female, median age was 33 years (age range: 25-42 years).

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW)

Thirty-seven of the 313 (12%) reported cases were OFWs. There were 31 males and 6 females. The median age was 35 years (age range: 20-56 years). All acquired the infection through sexual contact (17 heterosexual, 13 homosexual, and 7 bisexual). 



Credits: 

Philippine HIV/AIDS Registry of the NEC/DOH


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Email 15


HI,

Thanks for your reply. I just want to clarify about my BF.

Last month, he had his bloodwork done here in XXX as part of his employment. Then it turned out to be positive.
He returned to Manila a day after and went to XXX to get tested again. The doctor in XXX told him that they will text my BF a day after his blood was extracted however if it turns out to be positive, they will forward to San Lazaro where the result is available on the 3rd week of May. Its just the first week and we are still waiting for the results.

As for me, since my last test of negative 3 months, I am now going back to Manila to have myself tested again. If 3 months is required, do you think they will allow me to take the test this early? Is it going to be accurate?

Once I have myself tested. I am worried also because I need to go back here in XXX for work... Do you think I need to stay in the Philippines for quite sometime to complete my treatment (in case i am positive). Balak ko sana is just get the medicine supply let’s say for 3 months then go back again to Manila for a follow up kung ano man ang kailangan...

Thanks,
Iam

POZZIEPINOY’S REPLY

There is no problem having yourself tested again and no matter what, it won't compromise the accuracy of the result.

If you turn out positive then be happy, but still if you're doubtful have yourself tested again after 3 months. It is not required (meaning you can have yourself tested as frequent as you can) by any doctor, but my ID told my partner that he should get tested for 2x (every 3 months) just to be sure.

If you turn out positive, the next step is for you to check your CD4 count. This will determine your immune system status. Then there are two things that you will do:

   1. If your CD4 is still above 350, be happy because you won't be given free ARV's yet by the HIV/AIDS hubs here. Their rule here is anyone with lower than 350 count will only be given with free ARV's. The doctors there will then advice on what to do next before you go back (usually after 6 months to have your CD4 test again). However, if you opt to get ARV’s in other countries if your CD4 is still high, it is possible too, but of course out of your own expense. In the US, most are buying the ARV’s (getting them through their insurance) even though they are still above 350. The fact of the matter is if you take ARV’s early, the faster your immune system to recover. However in the Philippines, since we are relying only on free medicines, we have to follow the rule of the HIV/AIDS hubs.

2. If your CD4 is below 350, then it's a different story. You will be asked to do all lab tests, blood work, chest xray, etc (see my blog) to determine if the status of your health system. The doctors will have to know if you have opportunistic infections already, or other infections that you don't know of. This would then last for 1-2 weeks. You will be needing around 5k for all the costs. Then after that, you will be given a trial test first of the ARV’s and you will have to report back after a week (or two) to report to your doctors if you have side effects from your ARV's (usually you’ll be cleared of any side effects within a 1 month period). Some hubs will also require you to do another round of lab workout after 2 weeks of taking ARV's and report back to the hub. After a month, the doctor will either give you a supply for 2 or 3 months depending on your reaction to your ARV's.



Pozziepinoy




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Email 14


Hi,

I was reading your blog and confused about you considering yourself to have AIDS instead of PLHIV. Why is it like that? Isn't that AIDS will only occur if your CD4 drops to below 200? If it goes up again, is it still considered as AIDS?

Pls advise.

Thanks,
Iam

POZZIEPINOY’S REPLY

Hi Iam,

To answer your question, first, my initial CD4 was 76. From the WHO criteria, I already have AIDS. Second, I had recurrent pneumonia and PCP which are opportunistic infections and together with having HIV and a low CD4 count, I was confirmed to have AIDS.

Unfortunately, once you are diagnosed to have AIDS, your diagnosis won't change anymore even though the CD4 count goes above 200. The diagnosis is permanent and will never change anymore, unless of course, the WHO will change it's criteria again.

I hope I answered your questions again.

Pozziepinoy




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Email 13



I received another email this weekend:


Hi,

I saw your email in one of the HIV blogs. 

I am confused, I need someone to talk to. I am an OFW and will be returning to PH on XXX
I went to XXX last year of XXX until I was able to find a good job. I left my BF in PH but he came to XXX also XXX.

During my time in XXX alone, I became very wild. Having sex with people of all kinds. Something that I regret a lot

My last sex is XXX, a day before he came to XXX, but it is with a Filipino.

He discovered my whereabouts when he arrived, as in everything...

then I became paranoid with HIV because of the different things that I have been experiencing.. mostly, the general feeling of being unwell

On XXX, we went back to Manila to have myself tested for HIV. The good news is that i came out to be negative.

I returned to XXX 3 days after and he was left in Manila for a couple of days. He returned back to XXX where we had full blown sex again (kasi negative e)

Then, my BF is also looking for a job here. As part of the requirement, he needs to be tested for HIV. He was tested I think last month. Then the result came out to be positive... He is now back in Manila, to double confirm it. He went to XXX, the clinic told him that if positive, it will take another 3 weeks because it will be endorsed to San Lazaro. Until now, he is waiting for the result.

My BF is very faithful to me... he never had sex with others... (according to him) so I am thinking that huge possibility of him being positive is because of me.

But why my result last Feb is negative? That is where the confusion is...

I am now afraid with my condition and also his. They said that ARV will make you live normally and healthy, but why is it that the person in the blog said that he is already considered full blown AIDS if he is under medication? I am hopeless, I need people to explain what is going on... pls help me


Thanks,
Iam

POZZIEPINOY’S REPLY



Hi Iam,

First of all, thank you for sending an email to me. I am on vacation right now but I felt the urgency to reply back to you.

Let me reply back in the order of your questions or doubts.

First, based on what you told me, your HIV test turned out negative last Feb 24. That is good news. However if you are still in doubt, you can have yourself tested again after 3 months. That's what my partner did when I turned out to be positive. He immediately got himself tested and turned out negative. Then my Infectious Disease (ID) doctor told me to get him tested again after 3 months and once again he got a negative result. Thank God. He will get another one 6 months from now to be really sure. My point here is if you are in doubt, you can have yourself tested again after 3 months, then after 6 months again to really prove that you are not the one who infected your partner. It is better that way to calm down your nerves. Now if after a series of tests you still turn out to be negative, then he didn't get it from you. By then it will just boil down to you accepting him out of love, and not even thinking or discussing how he got the disease. 

Second, you said that you don't feel well and that confuses you. The best solution to this is go and seek the advice of an Infectious Disease doctor and disclose everything. It is better that way and from my experience, it is better to know your current health status before it is too late. I guess it is true for all kinds of diseases for that matter. So go ahead and seek medical consultation. If you don't know any doctor, I can refer you to one.

Third, your BF got tested again last April 10th and it was sent to San Lazaro for confirmation. That meant that his initial rapid test or ELISA was already positive but the Western blot (the one that he is waiting for 3 weeks) will really confirm it. I just hope that it is a false positive (meaning he is negative in the Western Blot). If he is positive, then there are different HIV/AIDS hubs he can go to for his next possible steps. We can correspond when this happens.

Fourth, about the ARV's. The ARV's will really make one's immune system recover. Trust the ID doctor. He/she will tell you if the cocktail (combination) of ARV's are working for you or not. Else, they will be immediately replaced by other cocktails. However, a person will still have to do his part. One, HIV replicates when one gets sick (even with a common cold), so try not to get sick while your CD4 count ( status of your immune system) is still low. Avoid crowded places, use hand santitizers, have a good hygiene etc. (Check out my blog: pozziepinoy.blogspot.com if you want to tips). Second, eat healthy and cooked foods. Third, exercise to fight other diseases. Fourth, have a positive attitude. Depression can make also weaken one's immune system. What I am saying here is that the ARV's will help but the will to get better comes the person himself, and by studying how he can fight the disease and by doing what he has learned, I am pretty sure that everything will turn out well.

I hope I was able to answer your questions. Feel free again to email me if you have other queries and doubts. 


Stay healthy,
Pozziepinoy




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Thursday, May 3, 2012

New Bill




Bill seeks to curb AIDs as 10 new Pinoys get HIV daily
May 02, 2012
By Anna Valmero

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA—Last March, the country hit a record of ten new daily cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), prompting the need for a legislation to help prevent and curb the spread of the infection from becoming a full blown epidemic.

A total of 313 Filipinos were diagnosed with HIV last March, contributing to a rise of a total of 799 cases for the first three months of the year—a 65 percent rise from last year's 483 cases in the same quarter.

This alarming number is one of the reasons why the Aquino administration should the certify as urgent the passage of House Bill 5312, a proposed new AIDS Prevention and Control Law.

“The new legislation has become absolutely imperative to effectively suppress the HIV epidemic,” said   LPG Marketers’ Association Rep. Arnel Ty.

The bill seeks to earmark P400 million to jumpstart a new National HIV and AIDS Plan.

Essentially, HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), a disease that ravages the human body’s immune system does not have any known cure.

Citing National Epidemiology Center data, Ty said the latest cases included 290 males and 23 females, with over half aged between 20 and 29 years old.

The cases recorded on March included 37 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who all acquired the virus via exposed sexual contact, and 31 intravenous drug users who were all infected after sharing tainted needles.

Except for the 31 drug users and two cases of mother-to-child transmission, Ty said all of the new cases were contaminated due to unprotected sexual encounters, with males having sex with other males accounting for 83 percent.

Three full-blown AIDS cases–two males and a one female–died in March, bringing to five the known deaths this year alone, Ty said.

The National HIV and AIDS Registry now lists an aggregate of 9,163 HIV cases in the country, with 91 percent of them or 8,369 cases infected on account of sexual contact.

Ty co-authored the bill together Representatives Maria Isabelle Climaco of Zamboanga City, Janette Garin of Iloilo, Jorge Banal of Quezon City, and Kaka Bag-ao of Akbayan party list.

Sen. Miriam Santiago recently filed a counterpart bill in the upper house.



Credits:
http://ph.news.yahoo.com/bill-seeks-curb-aids-10-pinoys-hiv-daily-094210626.html

212nd Day



My fault. I’ve been busy with work, my hobby and with a lot of responsibilities that I wasn’t able to blog as frequent as I used to. However, I am still active with the Love Fund and still assisting patients of Dr. Ditangco and that I am more grateful than proud... to have been given the privilege to help other people. I also check once in a while the health status of my fellow pozzies. So far, most of them are doing good, and I am thankful for that.
Today is my 212nd day of taking my ARV’s. Can you believe that I am still counting up to now? Well each day for me is a blessing to be accounted for. 

1. I am alive. I am so blessed that I was given a second chance to live my life again, to experience the beauty of nature, to explore different places, to meet interesting people, to travel, to have a great hobby, to have a peace of mind.

2. I am healthy. For 8 months now, I’ve never been sick except for my less than a week bout of colds which according to Dr. Ditangco was just normal. 

3. I am surrounded by love coming from Tag, my family and close friends. Tag accepted me and loved me more even though I have AIDS. We have been together for a years now and still nothing has changed between us. My family too is very supportive and checks on me once in a while and I know that they are so proud of me that I am fighting back

4. I have a GREAT doctor, Dr. Ditangco. I trust her with my life and she gives me good advises. Despite her hectic schedule she replies back to all my questions.

5. I have a team of professionals from RITM. I can always text Ate Ellen and Ms. Maram and we always coordinate with regards to schedules of my CD4, my vaccinations and reports on the Love Fund.

6. I have a team of good doctors who I can run to when I have health issues in my private hospital. Thanks to my good friend Dr. B for introducing me to her doctor friends who are now part of my team. Although I don’t see them that often anymore, I still hear from Dr. Ditangco that they are asking on how I am doing.

7. I am able to help other people through the Love Fund and through my friend in PCSO. I enjoy work. I have a great hobby. I always ask my friends for assistance and so far I am so happy that through my help, we were able to help other people. Dr. Ditangco is grateful that I was able to partner with her. With the help of my friend, we are able to tap PCSO for individual medical assistance. 

8. I have a good HIV/AIDS hub. I haven’t had any bad experience with RITM-ARG, my hub but in case I find something, I still will be proud of it because up to now:
    
    a.All my ARV’s are still free and RITM-ARG provides a full 3 month supply of my ARV’s 
       up to now unlike other hubs that are currently having problems with their supply that a 
       patient has to come every so often for their refill. For all of us who are under this hub,   
       we should all be grateful.

    b.They have advanced scheduling of patients for CD4 testing. It is best this way. I know   
       other hubs will make their patients wait for weeks before one can have a schedule. 
       Our responsibility is not to complain but to be respectful that our hub is trying hard to
       be organized to accommodate all. The management just started it and of course there
      will be problems at first but everything will soon be in order.

    c. They have an organized PhilHealth process. 

9. I have a strong positive outlook. I am very optimistic. Life is brighter after I found out that I have AIDS. Now I have a mission in life, to help, to assist and to reach out to fellow pozzies. This gives me the strength to live. 



    
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