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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The LOVE FUND July 2012 Report


For the month of July, here is the list of the pozzies that have been helped by the Love Fund. 

1. HIV patient with severe rashes hypersensitivity reaction. We assisted with prophylaxis

2. HIV with cancer. We assisted with medicine (cream). 

3. HIV with PTB. We assisted with her anti TB meds 

4. HIV with herpes zoster. We assisted with her meds

5. HIV patient. We assisted with his ultrasound test.

6. HIV with optha case. We assisted for the 5 field fundus photo test

7. HIV with dogbite case. We assisted with the antirabies vacine 

8. HIV confined in the RITM ward. We assisted with the 2d echo 

9. HIV with upper respiratory tract infection. We assisted with medicines.

10. HIV with low hemoglobin level. We assisted with medicine (injection).

11. HIV with genital wart. We assisted with his wart operation.


To all those who donated, thank you so much. 

There are so many patients who have been benefiting the Love Fund. There are more who need help. 


                                         

 FOR TOPIC SUGGESTIONS, please email me at pozziepinoy@yahoo.com
DONATE to The Love FundThe Love Fund                                                    

PP Prayer's List 7




I will be sending the PozziePinoy's Prayer List again to the heads of churches here in the country and in two church organizations in the United States this Friday evening. I have added new pozzies in twitter and I would like to add them have to this list. I also indicated a priority list for those who are in need of immediate prayer!

Please email me fast or just ask for a name inclusion in the comment box if you want your name or your friend's name to be included here.

In need of prayers: to watch over their health, to help them keep a positive outlook in life despite HIV, to help them face all health fears, to guard them against possible infections.

I will be sending the PozziePinoy's Prayer List again to the heads of churches here in the country and in two church organizations in the United States this Friday evening. I have added new pozzies in twitter and I would like to add them have to this list. I also indicated a priority list for those who are in need of immediate prayer!

Please email me fast or just ask for a name inclusion in the comment box if you want your name or your friend's name to be included here.

In need of prayers: to watch over their health, to help them keep a positive outlook in life despite HIV, to help them face all health fears, to guard them against possible infections.

PRIORITY PRAYER'S:

1. M Hiv -Real Initial
2. S Hiv -Real Initial
3. RL Hiv - Real Initials
4. HIVPLUS2012


Daily Prayers:

1. Poz Angel
2. PositHive
3. PozzieBoy23
4. GeekPozzie
5. Ryan HIV
6. Iamhivpositive
7. PozJerry
8. Casually
9. Bohemian
10. Chris HIV
11. Mike HIV
12. Kien HIV
13. Mark HIV
14. Panga HIV
15. Rob HIV
16. Albert HIV
17. Turvey HIV
18. Mao Hiv
19. Jersey
20. Jayjay HIV
21. 2ndLease
21. FB guy
22. Kiev
23. Spongie
24. iampositive25
25. Paranoid Freak
26. Marky
27. Sam HIV
28. Carlo HIV
29. Rob 2WL
30. Tipsyheaven1
31. Aqua HIV
32. SG HIV
33. RenalCB HIV
34. FBguy
35. FBfriend
36. MonCMV
37. LetBC
38. Dark Shadow29
39. AeonPaul
40. Reon
41. GP
42. lumineux08
43. finding goodness
44. matt_squid
45. rebornpositive2
46. seapositivo
47. Pozandliving
48. PozDanny
49. Potchini2
50. Chemistry Guy
51. Positivecutie
52. Jerin0627
53. squidworx
54. IamGrimReaper
55. Impopoy21
56. 21May2012
57. RedSon2828
58. positivejuan
59. PinoyPositive
60. IamPoziHiv
61. Iam Plus2012
62. Huntme
63. Eyes_closed120
64. AkoPoz
65. Sayke Delic
66. Dark Incognito
67. English
68. PinoyPositive
69. IamHIV
70. A/M Hiv (Real Initials)
71. SU Hiv (Real Initials)
72. Chrono Source HIV
73. SG Hiv (Real Initials)
74. FL Hiv (Real Initials)
75. Rolly5254 
76. Poz_nurse
77. Humphrey
78. NewPozPinoy
79. Iampositive27
80. RL (Real Initials)
81. L Hiv (Real Initial)
82. EM Hiv (Real Initials)
83. JEJ Hiv (Real Initials)
84. AP (Real Initials)
85. Prince (Real Name)
86. LenardPozzie888
87. Light R11
88. Morris Hiv
89. Pozcoping
90. Ezhno
91. Phyro_HIVe


Regular Prayers of Gratitude: 

May these people who are so dedicated in helping all of us with HIV be blessed always, with good health and good life!

1. Dr. Rossana A. Ditangco
2. Dr. Maffie Tayzon
3. Dr. Elizabeth Sebastian
4. Dr. Robert Naval
5. Dr. Larry Tamondong
6. Ms. Ellen Domingo
7. Ms. Maram Bartolome
8. Ms. Amelita Perez
9. Dr. Jepricito
10. Dr. Gia Sison





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Paracetamol and ARV's


I usually encounter conversations between pozzies wherein there is a question whether to take paracetamol or not while taking ARV’s, when one feels sick of fever due to colds and flu. I know I don’t have a problem with taking it but I usually ask my doctor first.

From the very start I always advice my readers to ask their HIV doctors first before taking any medicine. However, it always comes up whenever one has a fever because of a cold. 
So I interviewed Ellen Domingo, one of the staff nurses of RITM-ARG over the phone about it. She said that usually, they don’t advice paracetamols during the trial period of 2 weeks from the start of taking ARV’s as they are monitoring each patient’s reaction to the ARV’s. After that period, patients can take paracetamols as deemed necessary as long as one has no sensitivity or allergic reaction to it.

Why should we be careful in taking medicines together with ARV’s in the first place?

Well, medicines can interact, or interfere with the way other medicines work. When this happens, there won’t be enough of a drug present in your blood for it to work properly. If this happens with anti-HIV drugs, it can risk the development of resistance. It can also lead to too much of a drug and which can produce more of a chance of side effects developing.

Interactions of medicines are one of the reasons why it makes very good sense for your HIV doctor to know about all the medicines and drugs you are taking.

There are interactions between some anti-HIV drugs and everyday, over the counter medicines that it’s important to be aware of. It always makes good sense to read the leaflet that comes with all medicines as this will include information about possible drug interactions.

So can we really take paracetamols if we have fever from colds and flu? 

There is no interaction between paracetamol and anti-HIV drugs, but it’s important to know that paracetamol should be used carefully if you have any liver problems.

Paracetamol is a common painkilling and anti-fever drug. It is an extremely effective drug that is used to relieve fever, headache and other aches and pains. It can also be combined with other painkillers to enhance their effect. In the United States, it is called acetaminophen.

It is available in tablet form from pharmacies, supermarkets and other shops. The standard dose is 500 to 1000mg, up to a maximum of 4g a day. It is also available as a liquid, suppositories or a solution for injection into a vein.

Paracetamol is safe for use in pregnancy and in children.

Large doses of paracetamol can cause liver failure and death within a few days. The risk of this occurring is enhanced by excessive alcohol consumption. Paracetamol poisoning can be treated using N-acetyl cysteine.

Paracetamol does not interact with any currently available protease inhibitors or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs).

Risk of severe liver damage (i.e. a peak ALT more than 1000 IU/L):
Based on the dose of paracetamol ingested (mg/kg body weight):
  • Less than 150 mg/kg - unlikely
  • More than 250 mg/kg - likely
  • More than 12 g total - potentially fatal
So there. An HIV person who has fever from colds and flu can take paracetamol. Just watch out for its dosage. In case of a liver problem, ask your doctor first.





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Monday, July 30, 2012

June 2012: New HIV/AIDS Cases







Credits:

Philippines HIV/AIDS Registry NEC/DOH




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Email 33


Someone emailed 2 days ago however, he/she requested me not to post his/her email on my blog. Instead, I would like to generalize his/her question.

Can a foreign national get treatment here in the country?

I asked Dr. Ditangco about this and she said he/she can't if he/she wants to avail of the FREE treatment and FREE ARV's in the country. She said that only Filipinos are allowed because it is in the law and in the OHAT package.

She said that he/she can get treatment for any infections in any hospital here however, when it comes to HIV/AIDS treatment he/she can't. Also, the ARV's are not available in the Philippine market so there is no way, really to come here and get treatment for HIV.






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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Email 32



Hello Pozziepinoy, 

First of all I would like to congratulate you on such a wonderful and informative blog. I am just so happy because I learned so much about HIV and AIDS all from your blog. My name is X and my boyfriend X of X years is probably HIV positive. I say probably because we do not yet have his official confirmatory tests from San Lazaro .....  X had Cryptoccocal Meningitis and he was confined for X weeks. As you know it is an opportunistic infection (OI) and he probably has AIDS already. He has been on Fluconazole for 5 weeks now (3 weeks IV in hospital and 2 weeks oral at home) and we just had his first check up today. We will be seeing Dr. Ditangco next week for the first time.

We are financially drained having spent almost all the savings we had treating his fungal infection (more than P800k) and knowing that we still have a long road ahead of us emotionally and physically drains me. However I'm just glad that he is alive and well, looks very healthy, eats well and has not lost weight at all. We spend almost P2,500/day on his meds for the fungus .... , it just scares me he might be on this for life. I do not know if we can sustain it considering there are other meds, tests and expenses to think about down the road.

We are still in the questioning/denial/thinking positive stage right now (we still do not have official results yet as it is with his attending physician whom we will see next week). Our dilemma is that I want him to start on HIV therapy ASAP but I know he needs his official HIV test results and CD4/Viral Load tests as well prior to starting it. ...it is very frustrating because I know every day we delay it, can cause his immune system to go lower and lower...it is driving me NUTS! He was off work for more than a month and his co-workers and managers have all been very supportive and understanding (he only told them he had XXX). He is back at work for a week now and aside from some slight headache, and feeling a bit feverish at times (he takes biogesic) he feels fine and well. Until his check up today we had actually completely denied his HIV status...but sadly his Infectious Disease MD jolted us back to reality.

I know it will entail a lot of adjustment on our lifestyle (like you, we loved to travel and shop) and sexlife as well as our eating habits (his MD has told him to avoid uncooked fruits and veggies). 
I suppose the main reason I am emailing you is to show support for your advocacy and let you know that your blog DOES HELP. I would also like to ask you a few questions which has been bugging me for a while now since this whole thing started. 

1. I am the BOTTOM and am HIV-, how is this possible? We have been together for over X years and have never used a condom except when we were new in the relationship (the first 6 months) wherein I wanted to get our HIV tests first and then remain monogamous. We were both negative as expected and even did repeat tests together every 4 years. All throughout having unprotected sex. Then now he is POSITIVE and I am NEGATIVE? 

2. We have talked and to this day he has denied having anything "extra-marital" .... he seems really sincere and I would like to think that this is a life or death situation and he would tell me if he did. Is it possible he had it all those years prior to us being together? It seems so absurd but is the only explanation I can think of. Please note we are a very conservative couple and hardly even go out (if he did have anything extra it would be very few and far between).

3. Can his CD4 count go up? How?

4. Do you have a doctor you can recommend as his MAIN DOCTOR? A doctor we can count on for emergencies, someone who is experienced with HIV and AIDS? Our infectious disease doctor from XX is a nice guy but not sure if he is the right one. He also has a very good neurologist who treated his meningitis but would like a "go to" type doctor who understands and can give us the right advice on treatment, lifestyle, what foods to eat and pretty much any thing HIV related.

I know I think I might be asking a lot but any help would be so appreciated. We live at the XXX by the way.


Thanks and Regards
X

POZZIEPINOY’S REPLY

Hi X,

Thanks for your email. I am so happy that my blog is reaching out and helping others. Initially it was only a diary of my experiences with HIV and ARV’s, however, lately it has been a notebook of my researches. It also has been a venue where I can ask for support for my advocacy which is the care of the my fellow poz living with HIV/AIDS who are seeking medical assistance for their medicines and hospitalization. I’ve been receiving a lot of emails not only from our country but all over the world and my blog it seems has also become a channel where others can ask questions about my disease.

I applaud you for really caring for your partner who, from your email, has gone through a lot. His experience was so much like mine when I was hospitalized with pneumonia, when my partner and I spent almost all our savings, when everyday during that time felt like a never ending journey of hardships and trials. But let me tell you, that like me and my partner, you guys can also soon overcome all the things that has been happening to both you.

I would like to address all the things that you mentioned in your email.

First, regarding your desire for him to start his ARV’s, well no matter what he won’t be able to be prescribed yet with the meds because the HIV confirmatory result is really required. I know that you are worried, but like what I wrote in my previous entries, there are other things that you can do while waiting for the result which will take 2-3 weeks to come out. You can try to do what I did why waiting for my confirmatory. 
   
1. Have all the blood work done. Total cost usually ranges from P4,000 to P7,000 depending on where you get them. This is still a win-win situation as you guys are just trying to find out his health status as well as if he has other infections. You can ask your ID doctor what tests to take but below is a list of what I got:
    
a. CBC 
b. Creatinine
c. SGPT (ALT) / SGOT (AST)
d. Special Tests:
  • Chest XRay
  • TB Test
  • Toxoplasma IgG
  • HBsAg
  • Herpes Simplex II (IgG)
  • VDRL
  • Anti-HCV
Like what I said, this is just an option while waiting. However, in case the confirmatory turns out positive, these are all the tests that will be asked of your partner.

2. If you still have the financial capability, you can ask your ID doctor for a prescription of a CD4 test and VL test. See CD4 & Vl Price List for the price list and which hospital you can get them. Once again these are optional however, once again these will be asked during the screening. If you have both #1 and #2 ready in case the confirmatory turns out positive, then everything is all set for screening in the hub.

3. While waiting, read all the precautionary measures on how to avoid illnesses and viruses. Your ID doctor was right in telling your partner as to what kinds of food to avoid. The reason for this is that in case of HIV, the immune system is down so any simple illness can be blown up to a more serious illness. 

Read my previous blogs: Things To Do While Waiting , Health Tips , Stay Strong , Don't Get Sick!  

Second, I am so happy that your partner is still healthy looking, has a good appetite and has not lost weight at all. Those are good signs. However, even the pozzies with a very low CD4 can have the same health and physical status so make sure that your partner watches out for illnesses and tries to avoid communicable diseases.

Third,  regarding your question about your personal HIV status which is negative, despite your sexual role with respect to your partner, well it is possible that your immune system is stronger as compared with that of  your partner. However, we can’t assume that you are already safe from being infected because the course and progression of HIV varies from person to person. One person may turn out positive within 2 years post infection while another one may turn out positive 5-10 years post infection. From what I have read there are a small percentage of the population all over the world that the virus has not been transmitted and a very small percentage, immuned to it.

I encountered an email asking for direction when it comes to this matter. I remembered what my ID doctor told my partner, Tag. She said that the best way to calm down his nerves is to get tested again. If it turns out negative, get tested after 3 months. If once again the result turns out negative, then get tested again after 3 more months. He followed her advice and all his HIV tests turned out negative. He will have to get tested on a yearly basis.

You too can do this if you want, just to be sure of your status.

Fourth, I know it is still bugging you as to where and how he got the disease, but you should go beyond that now. You have to accept that there was a mistake that had been made (or done), and it really doesn’t matter now. I know it is easy to question everything, but for me, just love your partner. You’ve been through a lot and that is the ultimate test of a lasting relationship. Your love and partnership has been through a lot and yet, look  you guys are still together.

Fifth, the CD4 indeed goes up. The CD4 is the state of one’s immune system and through healthy living, it can really go up. In people with HIV, if the CD4 is way above the 350 mark, it usually is slow in going down. However if it falls below the mark, there is a possibility that it will go down rapidly. But there is good news. If the CD4 is below 350, the poz will be prescribed with ARV’s fast which will slow down the replication of  the virus. In return, the immune system will be able to bounce back, thus resulting to a higher CD4.

There are so many factors that can depress the CD4 so you can try to avoid  them while the CD4 is recovering from the insult of HIV.

Read my previous blog: Boost Your Immune System

Sixth, at the moment while waiting for the confirmatory, you guys can stick to your ID doctor. However, in case the confirmatory turns out positive, you can get Dr. Ditangco as your attending doctor. 

I have nothing against your current doctor, as you had mentioned that he is a good guy, however, I would still opt for an ID doctor who specializes in HIV and AIDS. Anyways, you told me that you will be seeing her soon so you can weigh your options as it is necessary for you guys to trust your chosen doctor.

Weighing everything you emailed me, it still boils down to his confirmatory test. I will pray that he be off the hook, that he turns out negative. 

I know you guys can overcome this trial.

Email me again if you have other questions.


Stay healthy,
Pozziepinoy





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Thursday, July 26, 2012

HIV/AIDS & DOLE


I've heard about this Department Order from The Philippine Department of Labor and Employment about the guidelines for the implementation of HIV and AIDS prevention and control in the workplace.

Read on and know more about your rights as an employee. If you are an employer or part of the management of a company, please read on.










Credits:

www.oshc.dole.gov.ph

Email 31: OFW Letter


I received this email last week and since I thought, I would be going to RITM this week, I told the person to wait for my answer. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go this week because of my tight schedule at work so today I just decided to call Dr. Ditangco, my doctor and the head of the RITM-ARG and Ellen Domingo, one of the staff nurse, also in RITM-ARG.

My reply to his email is at the bottom of this email trail:


INITIAL EMAIL

"Hello Pozziepinoy,

Mag ask lng po sana me kung pde ba iship abroad ung ARVs? (I would like to ask if it's possible for ARV's to be shipped abroad?) 

I’m diagnosed with HIV last XXX since I’m an OFW. I’m not eligible sa ARV in my host country and I’m wondering if I can outsource it from Manila.

If prescription or reports or confirmation are needed I can provide them.

Thank you,
XXX"


POZZIEPINOY’S REPLY

"Hi XXX,

Hi. Thanks for the email. Quick question though. Where were you diagnosed? Here in the Phil or there?

Pozziepinoy"


XXX’s REPLY

"Hi,

I’ve been diagnosed here last month only. Do u want me to send the result?

Thanks,
XXX"


POZZIEPINOY’S REPLY

The RITM staff is asking which country you’re in now? And whats ur cd4 count?

Pozziepinoy

XXX’S REPLY:

Hello.

Thank you sa reply. Ito po ung history.

XXX, 2012 - diagnosed
XXX- Cd4 = 280 and 24%

I was recommended to start treatment immediately unfortunately being a non resident of XXX I am not eligible to any benefits.

I was informed that I can try to outsource it to back to my own country.

I was prescribed with 
Nevimune 200mg tab
Tenofovir & EM 200/300 mg tab (Truvada)

Im informed as well that I can’t take Atripla since I’m on shifting work kaya ung BD daw ng puwede sa akin 


Thank you,
XXX

POZZIEPINOY’S REPLY

Hi XXX,

Sorry for the long delay of my response. 

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to RITM this week but instead I called Dr. Ditangco, the head of RITM-ARG and Ellen Domingo, one of the staff nurses there. 

According to Dr. Ditangco, before they can give you any FREE ARV’s coming from the Philippines, you need to be retested here again in the country for HIV as this is required by the government and in the OHAT (Out Patient  HIV/AIDS Treatment) package. You also have to undergo all lab tests in the hub as part of the screening process. Third, the doctors here will decide on the ARV’s to give you not the prescribed ones in XXX. Once you submit all the requirements necessary, then they can give you the FREE ARV’s which you can bring back to XXX. When it comes to shipping, you have to ask the couriers there if they allow shipment of ARV’s coming from here, if not then you have to come home and you can make an arrangement with RITM if they would allow you to bring a 6 month or a 1 year supply from Manila to XXX. She said that they had bad experiences with couriers as there are some countries that do not allow shipment of ARV’s.

I talked to Ellen Domingo earlier and she said the same thing like what Dr. D said. Another option is that you look for an AIDS Foundation there where you can get free ARV’s. If they won’t give you because you are a non resident there, then there is no other way but to go home and do what Dr. Ditangco wants you do.

You don’t need to stay here long though. A little more than two weeks may be enough to finish everything. You can bring your HIV documents and your CD4 result too if you want.

I wish I was able to answer all your questions. Feel free to email me again.


Stay healthy,
Pozziepinoy



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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What Are You Waiting For?


I have been communicating with new individuals who are waiting for their confirmatory result. The scenerio is, after getting a positive result in the HIV screening test, one has to wait for 2 to 3 weeks before the confirmatory comes out. The individuals that I was talking to were tested positive in the RITM Satellite Clinic in Manila and with the help of their counsellors, they were advised to get their baseline labs in RITM-ARG in Alabang even before they get their confirmatory result. I was not convinced yet that this is possible until I asked a staff in RITM-ARG and she confirmed that it is true. She told me that as long as they bring their screening result with them from the RITM Satellite Clinic, then they will be accommodated.

Wow. This is great news. Imagine, instead of thinking about the confirmatory, well if it's positive or negative, why wait and start with all the baseline tests fast. Instead of waiting, one can get to know his or her health status as soon as possible.

It is better to be prepared for the worse, but no matter what getting all the baseline tests is a win-win to everyone. In case you are either negative or positive in the confirmatory, you are already ready for anything.






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Monday, July 23, 2012

A New Journey


Your initial HIV test turned out positive and you are made to wait for the confirmatory for 2 to 3 weeks. You are shocked. You don’t know what to do. You don’t know if you’re going to tell your family. You feel the world has come to an end.

You want to cry. You want to scream. You want to spill out your guts.

I know how it feels. I’ve been there. Like the rest of all the pozzies I knew, we all have been there. We felt the same way. You are not alone in this world.

Now, you begin to read. Read articles about HIV and AIDS. You read blogs of fellow poz. You read tweets in twitter. You read about opportunistic infections and about side effects of ARV’s. You read about the fees of all the lab exams, the CD4 test and the viral load. Then you become depressed. You become more scared.

It’s ok to be depressed but get a grip of yourself. It’s not the end of the world. It is just a start of a new journey. I know you would say that it is easy said than done, but will we have to make it hard for ourselves, when we are already burdened with a disease that is still incurable? Will we block out our vision of the future when other pozzies who have used to be in your situation, are living their lives to the fullest and still functioning as productive members of the society now? They already have paved the way for you. They have already experienced what you will soon experience. All you need to do is to learn from their wisdom, to follow the right path to good health, and like them you too will soon be back on your feet and live a happy life. 

It’s ok to be scared. Of course the initials like HIV and AIDS are pretty scary. But imagine the courage and dedication of my idols, Humphrey Gorriceta and Wanggo Gallaga who both came out and gave a face to HIV in the Philippines. Imagine the thousands of people living HIV/AIDS who are always going to the HIV/AIDS hubs all over the country, who are courageous to get treatment. Do you think they were also scared before? The answer is yes, but they got on their feet, brushed the dust off their feet and walked forward with their heads held up high. You too can do that. 

It’s ok to be scared, but move on fast. Knowledge is power. It is only by knowledge, by knowing and understanding everything about our disease and our ARV’s, that we can have the greatest power to accept our disease. Sometimes what we are reading from blogs and twitter are scary, but they are the actual truth and they should not scare us but instead, empower us and think of ways to prevent it from happening to us. Instead of being scared, we should ask and inquire. We should read more and maybe we can prevent these scary things from happening to us. I, for one, was so scared before. Scared of what the ARV’s will bring about. Scared about opportunistic infections. But instead of being scared for a long time, I told myself that I have to fight by doing everything, by studying, by researching and educating myself so the past mistakes won’t happen to me. I educated myself by believing in the wisdom of my doctors because I know their knowledge and experience will give me more strength to fight back.

It’s ok to keep our status to ourselves initially. Take time to think and tell people, especially our loved ones and families when we are ready. It is easier to accept our status when our family and loved ones are very supportive and that is true. But acceptance has to come from within. It is only by accepting our status that we can really be free. Free from the burden of what others will feel and how others will look at us. 

I know it is hard at first. It’s all natural. It’s normal. But the best decision we can make with our disease is by choosing to face it and fight it with all our might and courage. It is only by this choice that we can break the bondage of HIV and AIDS that has bound people for the past decades from moving forward and to live their lives to the fullest.

I know you can do it. So don’t be scared. Don’t be depressed. The way to good health has been paved for you. It is easy now. All you have to do is to walk forward towards your future once again!





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CD4 and VL Fees?

A lot of pozzies have been asking me about the CD4 and Viral Load fees so I asked all my friends, doctors and fellow pozzies about it. So far this is what I got.

Note: to be sure, add extra cash just in case, but this table would just give you an ESTIMATE on how much it costs in each hospital/hub.



If you wish to add to this table, just email me at pozziepinoy@yahoo.com. Any additional info would be greatly appreciated.





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Tell Others to Get Tested!


My advocacy is really not HIV prevention. However, we got our disease from some people and at the same time, because we weren’t careful and we weren't able to have ourselves tested before, we may have passed it to other people.

We need to reach out to those who we had sexual unprotected contact with before and inform them the importance of HIV testing. It is an obligation that we have to make. This is not only for their own health but also to prevent the spread of the strain our disease.

It’s for our own peace of mind.

I listed down the clinics where they can get tested, in case they would ask. Aside from the list, most private hospitals and clinics also have their  HIV testing facilities, although more expensive.

LUZON

Angeles Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Lucielle Ayuyao - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: 1-20 Cristina Drive, Villa Teresa Subd. Angeles City / (045) 3222979 Mobile # 0915-9872100

Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC)
Dr. Manuel C. Factora - Medical Center Chief; Dr. Maria Lorena L. Santos - HIV AIDS Core Team Leader / Add: Gov. Pack Rd. Baguio City /(074) 4423165; 4424080; 5236077; 5234103; 4428342 Mobile # 09175072326

Cagayan Valley Medical Center (CVMC)
Dr. Emmanuel F. Acluba - Chief of Hospital; Dr. Teresita Reyes - HIV AIDS Core Team Leader / Add: Cagayan Valley, Tuguegarao City / (078) 3213561 – 64; 3213560;8053560 Mobile #: 09176280924

Caloocan Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Zenaida Calupaz - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: Mabini St. Calocan Health Dept. / 2888811 local 2281 Mobile # 09176018331

Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM)
Dr. Remigio M. Olveda - Executive Director; Dr. Rossana A. Ditangco - Head, HIV Research Unit / Add: Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City / 8072628 -32; 8072636; 8097599; 8422245; 8072628 local 414 /208 Mobile # 0927510028

Laoag Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Imelda Tamayo - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: Brgy. 10, City Health Office, Tupaz, Laoag City / (077) 7720289 Mobile # 09189797491

Bicol Regional Training & Teaching Hospital (BRTTH)
Dr. Rogelio G. Rivera - Chief of Hospital; Dr. Anna Lynda Bellen Add: Legaspi City, Albay / (052) 4830017; 4830886; 4830015 Mobile #: 09177935692

Makati City Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Calixto Salud - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: JP Rizal St. Brgy. :Poblacion, Makati City / 8701615

Mandaluyong City Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Yolanda TuaƱo - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: Maysilo Circle, Mandaluyong City / 5467799; 2115336 Mobile #: 09178424298

Manila Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Diane Mendoza - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: San Lazaro, Sta. Cruz, Manila / 7116942 Mobile #: 0920-5779074

Marikina City Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Honielyn Fernando - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: Marikina City / Mobile #: 09178298862

Pasay Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Loretta Garcia - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: Pasay City Health Office / 5514180 Mobile #: 09228915674

Pasig City Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Rocylene Roque - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: Caruncho Avene. Brgy. San Nicolas, Pasig City / 6400111

Puerto Galera Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Ginalyn Caguete - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: Rural Health Clinic, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro / (043) 4420182 Mobile #: 09272383989

Puerto Princesa Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Eunice Herrera - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: City Health Office, Puerto Princesa, Palawan / (043) 4658182 Mobile #: 09272383989

Batasan Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Dottie Mercado - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: Batasan Hills, Quezon City / Mobile #: 09053576353

Bernardo Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Suzette Encisa - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: Bernardo Clinic, Quezon City / Mobile #: 09164781607

Project 7 Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Monina Santos - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: Project 7 , Quezon City / Mobile #: 09186184133

San Lazaro Hospital (SLH)
Dr. Arturo Cabanban - Medical Center Chief; Dr. Rosario Jessica Tactacan – Abrenica - HIV AIDS Core Team Leader / 3099528-29; 7438301 local 6000 Mobile #: 09175359380

Ilocos Training and regional Medical Center (ITRMC)
Dr. Francisco A. Valdez - Chief of Hospital; Dr. Jimmy Mynardo Mendigo - HIV AIDS Core Team Leader / Add: San Fernando, La Union / (072) 7001766; 7003766 Mobile #: 09204124478

Jose B. Lingad Memorial Medical Center
Dr. Venancio S. Banzon - Chief of Hospital; Dr. Edwin Pasumbal - HIV AIDS Core Team Leader / Add: Brgy. San Dolores, San Fernando, Pampanga / (045) 961392; 9613380 Mobile #: 09274040365

Santiago Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Robelyn Vera Go - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician Add: City Health Office, San Andres, Santiago City / (078) 6827687 Mobile #: 09194626389

Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center (JRMMC)
Dr. Christine Villaroman / Quiricada St. Sta. Cruz, Manlia / Mobile #: 09228245216

MEDI - Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center
Dr. Ma. Luisa M. Date / Add: Bldg. 14, DOH compound Sta. Cruz, Manila / 7438301 local 1702

Philippine General Hospital (PGH)
Dr. Rolando Enrique Domingo - Director; Dr. Jodor Lim - HIV AIDS Core Team Leader; Ms. Dominga C. Gomez SAGIP Unit / Add: Taft Avenue, Manila / 5261705; 5673394 Mobile #: 09396258730

Tuguegarao Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Josefina Chua - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: City Health Office, Tugegarao City / (078) 8462197 Mobile 09175745050


VISAYAS

Vicente Sotto, Sr. Memorial Medical Center (VSSMC)
Dr. Gerardo M. Aquino - Chief of Hospital; Dr. Regina Melodia - HIV AIDS Core Team Leader / Add: B. Rodriguez, Cebu City / (032) 2539882; 2539982; 2537564; 2532592 Mobile #: 09193473658

Cebu City Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Ilya Tac –an - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: Gen. Maxilano St. Cebu City / (022 3659962 Mobile #: 09173291663

Iloilo Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Odetta Villaruel - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician Address: Iloilo City (033) 3208151 Mobile #: 09215694450

Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital
Dr. Epifania S. Simbul - Chief of Hospital; Dr. Criselda E. Bacolor - HIV AIDS Core Team Leader / Add: Lacson St. Bacolod City / (034) 4351591;4332697; 2080094 Mobile #: 09228608876

Lapu-Lapu Ciy Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Rodolfo C. Berame - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician

Mandaue City Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Edna Seno and Dr. Debra Maria Catulong - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician

Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC)
Dr. Jose Mari C. Fermin - Chief of Hospital; Dr. Ray Celis - HIV AIDS Core Team Leader / Add: Manduriao St. Iloilo City / (033) 3211797; 3212802; 3211420; 3212841 to 50 Mobile #: 09189401217


MINDANAO

Butuan Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Jesus Chin- Chui - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: City Health Office, Butuan City / (085) 3423432; 815111 local 1039

Davao City Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Jordana Ramitere - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: City Health Office, Magallanes St. Davao City / (222) 4187 Mobile #: 09209102718

Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) (Note: former Davao Medical Center DMC )
Dr. Leopoldo J. Vega - Chief of Hospital; Dr. Alicia Layug - HIV AIDS Core Team Leader / Add: JP Laurel St. Bajada, Davao City / (227) 2731 Mobile #: 09204241721

Davao Regional Hospital
Ms. Telesfora A Hinay - Add: Apokon, Tagum City / (082) 2218593;2279536; 4003653;

General Santos Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr. Mely Lastimoso - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: General Santos City Hospital / (083) 3051510 Mobile #: 09088877512; 09198483116

Zamboanga Social Hygiene Clinic
Dr Kibtiya Uddin - Social Hygiene Clinic Physician / Add: Petit Barracks, Zone 4C, Cty Health Office, Zamboanga City / Mobile #: 09274836672

Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC)
Dr. Romeo A. Ong - Chief of Hospital; Dr. Jejunee Rivera - HIV AIDS Core Team Leader / Add: Zamboanga City / (062) 9910573; 9912934; 9920154 Mobile #: 09204241721




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Thursday, July 19, 2012

OFW and HIV


I have been coordinating with an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who has HIV. He came back to the Philippines after he found out that he got tested anonymously there and found that he has the disease. He was so scared because the country where he is working at deports people who have HIV so he had to resign from his job work and come home.

The minute he came home, we already were communicating. The following day, he went to RITM to have a consultation. However, the staff there said that he has to take another test here in the country because his initial HIV test was done in another country. It is really the law here, so he went and got himself tested again. Now, he is just waiting for the other tests to be completed, including the CD4 test.

I know it is hard for our fellow pozzies who are working outside the country especially those who have laws forbidding foreign persons with HIV/AIDS to work in their society. Aside from the initial shock of knowing the presence of the disease in our systems, the OFW’s are also scared of the social implications and or safety once the country’s division of health founds out about it. I have heard that even while at work, the pozzies are being escorted out and detained fast or brought immediately to the airport for deportation. Pozzies in those countries were literally being treated like law breakers (which they are, since it really is in the laws). 

Sad to say, that it still is happening, as with the case of the OFW that I am assisting at present. Of course, the whole world is disgusted by the discriminative laws in these countries but I do believe that there is hope that will come soon. I just hope that it would be sooner because, I know each individual, with or without HIV deserves to live a normal life and be productive.



    
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Working hard for YOU!

Didn't you know that people all over the world are working hard to find a cure? Did you not know that there are people working hard to free you from HIV? 

Keep the faith. Stay positive. The cure is almost there. 








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There is Hope

There is so much progress. We should all wait for the biggest announcement!






      
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Email 29




Hi Pozziepinoy, 


I'm quite impressed sa blog mo especially your dedication para mag share ng info at update regarding HIV. I too have HIV, sa ngayon nasa ika-24th day na ako ng pag take ng aking ARV drugs. 
I have a question regarding skin rashes. 

Day 7 - while taking ARV and Cotri- (antibacterial), lumabas yung rash ko. It started sa waist paakyat sa katawan ko. 

Day 9 - lumabas na din ang rash sa upper arm pababa sa lower arm.

Day 11 - almost 70% ng katawan ko covered ng reddish skin. 

Day12 - I went to my doctor in San Lazaro. Sinabihan ako to discontinue Cotri- (antibacterial) at baka daw allergic ako sa drugs na yun. Instead, she prescribed me to take steroid and continue taking antihistamine. Napansin namin na pag stressed ako (naglakad ng matagal etc) lumalabas yung reddish spots na meron ding darker spots. pero nawawala din kapag at rest ako especially kung wala akong ginagawa (nakaupo o nakahiga lang).

Day 14 - almost bumalik na sa normal ang kulay ko. However minsan kapag tumayo ako o kung ano mang galaw ko lumalabas yung very faint red spots, eventually nawawala din naman agad.

Day 15-16 - same, normal ang kulay ko.

Day 18 - mejo nagbalat yung skin ko, very thin skin shed lang. slight makati pero tolerable naman. nagsimula sa upper arm. Napansin ko din meron shedding sa tummy, pero halos hindi noticeable. Pag nangati ang skin ko mejo nagiging very slight reddish ang skin ko. Pag di naman makati, normal ang kulay.

Sa palagay mo, ano kaya tong rash ko. Right now nasa Day 19 or almost 3 weeks na since i got the rash. So far wala naman akong ibang nararamdamang pangangati except sa likod na alam ko mejo nagbabalat.

Babalik ako sa doctor ko this coming July XXX for checkup. Taga XXX ako.

Hope to hear from you soon.


Mr. XXX


POZZIEPINOY’S REPLY


HI Mr. XXX,

Thank you for reading my blog. I wish you are learning something from my entries.

Regarding your question about your rashes, I am in no position to tell you what the cause of your rashes since I am no doctor. Second I don’t know what ARV’s you are taking right. However, I can just tell you what happened to me 9 months ago when I started my ARV’s and my prophylaxis.
The ARV’s that were prescribed are still the one’s I am taking right now, namely, Lamivudine, Tenofovir and Efavirenz. My prophylaxis were Cotrimoxazole and Azithromycin which I took until the 8th month when my CD4 went up dramatically to 487.

I started taking my prophylaxis last September 26, 2011 as prevention for recurrence of my pneumonia and prevention of other opportunistic infections. During those times, I didn’t experience any side effects. I started taking ARV’s on October 6, 2011 and everything was ok until rashes started coming out 11 days after (October 17, 2011). I noticed the rashes were on my chest and at the back of my head and were so itchy. Good thing that day was the day of my check up with my previous infectious disease doctor and she prescribed me with Xyzal and Iferax. The following day, my rashes spread out to my chest and legs shoulders , and diappearing on my chest and nape. On the third day, everything slowly subsided and on the fourth day, everything was gone. On the fifth day, I stopped Both the Xyzal and Iferax. My prophylaxis and ARV’s were never stopped.

For two months I experienced itchiness and body heat whenever I was sweaty due to exercise or I was in a hot environment so I made it a point to turn on the aircon every time. I also observed that I started to itch when I had a glass of wine (I asked Dr. Ditangco about it since it was New Year's Eve and she said it was ok, but not a lot). To remedy my itchiness, I moisturized my entire body with a moisturizing lotion at night or whenever I was itchy because I found out that the ARV’s can cause dryness which let to itchiness. Well, it worked for me and I slept well at night. On the third month, everything was back to normal but I still continued moisturizing my skin.

I don’t know if my experience sort of answered your questions but still the best way is to ask your doctor about it. Better yet, you can go to a dermatologist for the best advice.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Stay healthy, 
Pozziepinoy




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