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

Friday, August 31, 2012

YES, You Can!

I received an email from a new pozzie who wanted just to talk. He gave me his number. As soon as I got home, I called him up. He was shocked how fast I responded to him. I just told him that it seems that it was an urgent thing.

Drug Testing and ARV's

Today I went to get my Drug Test for my Mayor's Permit for my company. On the way there, I remembered that one pozzie before thought that he might not get his driver's license because he was worried what to put in the form for the medicines that he was taking. He was thinking that the officer-in-charge of the testing might ask him about the medicines that he was taking and what his answer would be. Issues of disclosure came to his mind. He was also afraid that the the result of the drug testing would turn out positive.

DOH NEC HIV/AIDS July 2012 Registry

The DOH-NEC Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry for July 2012 just recently came out. This report shows the cases reported in the country.

From the report, there are 278 new HIV cases, which is 36% higher compared to the same period last year. 95% of the cases were males, with median age of 27. The most number of cases reported where in the 20-29 age group. Cases from the National Capital Region (NCR) showed 55% or 144 of the reported cases.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Love Fund Report: August 2012

I texted Maram and Ate Beth and asked them for the list of the beneficiaries of The Love Fund (TLF) for this month. Maram just emailed me the list. In behalf of the staff of RITM-ARG and The Love Fund, thank you very much for all the donations. Please keep them coming as there are a lot more indigent people who are in need of medical assistance.

Treatment Timeline


1st Consultation and Tests

Today you found out that you are HIV positive as shown in your confirmatory letter. You are shocked of course, because, who won’t be? The HIV status is pretty devastating as nobody around your circle has openly discussed about it. You get confused. You turn to read articles about it from the net. Then you realize that you need to do things for your health. 

PP Prayers List 9


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!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

PLHIV of the Week: PositHIVe


I have known PositHIVe for quite sometime now over twitter so I asked him if he could share his story to my readers. Good thing he agreed to it. 

This is his story. 

S.E.T. New Schedules!


PLEASE BE ADVISED ON THE NEW SCHEDULES OF THE S.E.T. DUE TO THE UNAVAILABILITY OF SPEAKERS


INVITATION TO ALL PERSONS LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS IN THE PHILIPPINES


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Email 40:The Western Blot Test



"Dear PozziePinoy:

First allow me to thank you for providing a very valuable information through your blog. I am XXX (not my real name) and left my work in XXXX because I tested positive on my Elisa test. Before they deport me, inunahan ko na sila and booked for the earliest flight to Manila. My next plan is to go for a Western Blot Test in RITM but when I called them, I was told them they can only do it for blood donors. Pozzie, I prefer RITM because of the good things that I read about them, how they treat the patients etc. Is there anyone I can contact there specifically so I can have the Western blot in RITM instead of San Lazaro. Your referral would be very helpful.

Anticipating your quick reply,

XXX"


POZZIEPINOY'S REPLY


Hi XXX,

Thank you for your email. I am happy that I am reaching out to other people through my blog.

Although I already emailed you my response, I  called RITM-ARG in your behalf so I can give you the most factual information that I can get from their staff.

I talked to Ms. Maram Bartolome, one of the staff in RITM-ARG and she said that you can't get the Western Blot test alone since they would require you to have the Elisa test that has been done here in the Philippines. They won't honor the Elisa test you did in the country you worked before because they would want all HIV patients to actually be screened here for the national registry.

You have two options:

One, is to get the HIV test again in RITM-ARG (result for Elisa test is one day and Western Blot test after 2 weeks), however, it would follow the standard waiting period of 2 weeks for you to get the confirmatory (Western Blot test) like in any other hub. The confirmatory result is required for you to get all the privileges in the main hubs in the country, that is, free consultation, free lab tests, free prophylaxis (if available), and free ARV's.

The second option is for you to get the HIV Test in RITM Satellite Clinic. I posted the address below. Maram said that it is best for you to go to the satellite clinic instead since one, they have a free HIV test there, and two, you need only to wait for 2 hours before the result will come out. If in case your result turns out positive after 2 hours, you don't need to get a confirmatory anymore. I remember Dr. Ditangco and Ate Ellen telling me before that the HIV Test there is almost 100% accurate since they do 2 tests for screening already, thus no more waiting for the 2 weeks for the Western Blot test. Also if you would turn out positive in the satellite clinic, you can go directly at RITM-ARG and they will honor the HIV test from the satellite clinic for you to be accepted in their hub. I mentioned in my email to you who the persons to look for there in RITM-ARG in case your result turns out positive.

Here's the address of the RITM Satellite Clinic:

                RITM SATELLITE CLINIC
                1850 Leon Guinto St,
                Malate, Manila
                Tel Nos: 353-8922
                Look for Nurse Clarissa and Isabel

I wish I was able to help you with your concern. Feel free to email me again in case you have other questions.


Stay healthy,
Pozziepinoy


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




  

Our Mask


We all wear a mask. Not everything is revealed to the public eye. Not everybody knows what we are exactly feeling and what we are exactly thinking. Up to now, HIV/AIDS has a stigma in the society. May it be the “gay plague”, the drug addict’s curse or simply a “promiscuous” disease, it still haunts and scares a lot of people. Even though there are breakthroughs with treatment and that the disease can be preventable by protection and awareness of how it spreads, still the world can still be mean. Although the majority of the nations in the world have laws that have been enacted to protect those who are infected however, the general public still is careful in disclosing because not all can be trusted with the vital information such as his or her HIV status.

Somebody recently asked me again if it can be identified if a person has HIV/AIDS by just merely looking at the person. I will reiterate that no one can identify it by merely staring at a person or looking at his symptoms. It is part of the human society to speculate and judge a person by its appearance however, even though certain illnesses don’t necessary pinpoint to HIV/AIDS. Only the HIV test can really identify it. It is only by then that doctors can exactly diagnose if the illnesses that one person has are HIV related or not.

There are good and bad sides of it though. The good side is that since HIV/AIDS doesn’t have a concrete evidence on one’s appearance, persons living with HIV (PLHIV) can live a normal life without prejudice and discrimination. They don’t have to succumb to the harsh reality of discrimination by their peers in their communities. They can still be functional in their society and get the jobs that are apt to their skills and potentials. The bad side of it is that unless the person knows his status through HIV testing, any individual, for that matter, is a potential carrier of the disease. The person, can be anybody, a relative, a neighbor, a life partner, work colleague, a woman in the bus, the woman who regularly runs on the treadmill. The disease, even though is silent within, is vicious and ready to attack. Anybody can be a victim and can be infected if preventive measures are not taken. The disease can easily be transferred by accident or by simply not knowing the consequences of a certain activity or behavior.

We all wear a mask. Not everything is revealed to the public eye. But we can definitely take off our masks. We can take it off when we need to be open to our loved ones and close friends. We need to take it off when when we are in danger of harming other people. We know that it is our responsibility to do so when we are faced with situations that we can easily transfer our disease to another individual. We can also temporarily take our masks off when we are helping other PLHIV’s in with their new “journey” or when we are doing our own HIV/AIDS advocacies to help with education and awareness and treatment.

Time can only tell when the stigma will be gone. Everything is being done for us, from the cure and from all HIV/AIDS programs worldwide. Soon, we can all take off our masks and throw them away permanently so other people can see our real and true faces.



 Credits: 
www.freedigitalphotos.net


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

Monday, August 27, 2012

HIV & Alcohol


During my first consultation with my infectious disease doctor, she asked me if I drink alcoholic beverages. I didn't know if it mattered really, but good thing that I am just a social drinker and that's what I told her. She said that there are a lot of things to consider when drinking alcoholic beverages especially if you are HIV positive. We have to know the short term and long term effects, the effects of our organ systems and the interaction with the ARV's.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

About THE LOVE FUND



The Love Fund is a project geared towards helping the indigent and less fortunate people living with HIV/AIDS. The primary mission of TLF is to provide medical support for treatment of opportunistic infections (OI), laboratory tests and hospitalization costs of ill patients. The project accepts cash and/or in-kind donations.

The candidates for TLF beneficiaries are screened by the staff of RITM-ARG. An end-of-the-month report is submitted for transparency. This is a joint project of Pozziepinoy and Dr. Rossana A. Ditangco.

If you want to donate:

1. Deposit your cash donations to:

                BDO Savings Account Number: 1420060188
                Account Name:  Rossana A. Ditangco
            
2. Personal cash donations to RITM-ARG and look for Maram Bartolome. 

3. Also accepting donations in kind:

    a. Medicines for OI Prophylaxis
        i. Cotrimoxazole -800mg
        ii. Azithromycin -250mg and 500 mg
    b. Milk formula and diapers for 1-3 year old patients

For inquiries please email me at pozziepinoy@yahoo.com
Monthly updates on the beneficiaries of the LOVE FUND will be posted in my blog.

Thank you so much!


IMPORTANT NOTICE TO DONORS

CASH DONATIONS SHOULD BE DIRECTLY DEPOSITED  
ONLY TO THE BANCO DE ORO ACCOUNT SPECIFIED ABOVE 
OR 
DIRECTLY TO RITM-ARG TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR DONATIONS WILL GO DIRECTLY TO THE PATIENTS

ALWAYS ASK FOR AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT RECEIPT SIGNED BY AUTHORIZED RITM-ARG STAFF

For complaints, please email me at pozziepinoy@yahoo.com




© Copyright. All Rights Reserved by Pozziepinoy 2012


CREDITS:
Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

First Anniversary

It's almost the finish line of my "1st year anniversary", as Dr Ditangco said it during my first consultation with her when Tag and I met her in The Medical City, one thursday afternoon. I can still hear her voice during our first talk. She was calm, relaxed, full of confidence and reassuring. I knew from that time on that she will be my infectious doctor and I will put my full trust and confidence in her.  I knew that she would be able to make good decisions on my health. 

That was October 2011.

Today as I open my last 3 bottles of ARV's to complete my one year of taking them I feel so blessed that I am in my best health. I've never been sick for 11 months now. My CD4 count shot up from 70 to 487 in just eight months. I have no ARV side effects. 

I can still remember when I was in my death bed last September 2011 because of my weak immune system caused by HIV which I didn't know then, when my CD4 was so low, when I was down with PCP and bibasal pneumonia, when it was hard for me to breath even when walking, when I got thin. I can still remember the concern of Tag and how he cried when on the third day of my hospital confinement, Dr. T, my pulmonologist broke the news that I have HIV. I can still hear my good friend, Dr. B, who prayed over me when I was on my bed. I can still visualize the faces of my two sisters when they heard the news. Up to now, I can see vividly all the events that happened to me for the past eleven months.


Now that my 1st year anniversary is coming, I would like to give thanks to everybody who assisted me through my journey.

Thanks to Tag, who has remained loving and caring. He is always there for me throughout my hardships and weaknesses. Thank you for still loving me despite my illness, despite my inadequacies and failures, my insecurities, sensitivities and my childishness. Thank you for being there and supporting me when I was battling my illness both physically and emotionally. Thank you for being my strength and providing me the courage to fight back. Tag, you know you are my lover for life, my dear friend, my everything. I love you so much.

Thanks to all my doctors who give me new meaning to my life. First to Dr. T from TMC who "resuscitated" my life back and assisted me through my first month of having this disease. Thanks to Dr. B, my good friend who is always is there for me and Tag and who has become my attending physician from that time on. Thanks to Dr. T, my pulmonologist who detected and treated my pneumonia and who was the one who told me to take the HIV test when I was confined. Thanks to Dr. R from PGH-SAGIP who assisted me with my first ARV's and did my first counseling. Thanks to Dr. S from TMC who even though I met her only once, was so kind and loving during my consultation with her. Thanks, to Dr. Ditangco, for accepting me as her patient, who has become my confidant about my illness and who partnered me with my advocacies. I am so grateful to all of you.

Thanks to Tag's entire family and my family for standing strong for me and accepting me and disease. I know I couldn't handle this without the support and love that you have all showed me. Thank you so much for all your prayers and encouraging words.

Thank you to all the RITM-ARG staff for becoming my extended family. Thanks to Ate Ellen, Maram, Let, Ate Beth and Marvin for always assisting me whenever I am in the clinic. Thanks for making everything easy for me there. Thank you guys too for helping my advocacy come to life. Without you guys I wouldn't be able to do my cause.

Now as I distribute all my ARV tablets in my big month pill box, I am full of optimism that at my "1st anniversary", in my 1st finish line, I know that I am already a winner!











                                                                                                                                 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bawal ang Pasaway: HIV/AIDS

The other night, I was able to watch this segment from GMA News TV's Bawal ang Pasaway: Positibo-Usapang HIV/AIDS.  Winnie Monsod interviewed Wanggo Gallaga, an HIV-positive writer of the Philippine Star and Philip Castro, the Program Officer of the United Nations Development Program.       

                   


"Mareng Winnie" as she is known to the public asked questions as to why the Philippines is considering HIV/AIDs as problem. Mr. Castro replied that the alarming cases for the past 3 years alone (from 2010-2012) is already double the number of cases from 1984 to 2009. Mareng Winnie also asked why the cases are still going up when most of the other countries such as Thailand, the cases of HIV/AIDS is going down. She asked what their secret is or what we are not doing in our country. Mr. Castro discussed sex with no protection and the irresponsible sharing of needles among drug addicts. He discussed the other ways to prevent HIV transmission such as abstinence, faithfulness of couples to one another and consistent and correct use of condoms. He reiterated that 38 of the most at risk population are not being provided with HIV/AIDS services, and among them, less that 50% has the proper knowledge about HIV/AIDS.

Wanggo said that there is no problem with UNDP or the DOH with their awareness programs, but the people and our culture become the hindrance. Most people really don't want to use condoms. Mr. Castro said that there are reasons cited why people don't want to use condoms. He said, first, people don't like using it because they don't get pleasure from it. Some people said that their partners don't like using them or the condoms are not readily available. There are also instances too that some people just don't know how to use them. Wanggo added that most people are ashamed to buy condoms from the convenient stores because they don't want to be judged or labeled as having premarital sex. He added that there are so many things that the UNDP, the UNAIDS and the DOH are doing but it seems that people are not listening and not changing. Mr. Castro reiterated that we have to discuss the big picture about sex, how it is still considered as taboo to most, and not even to be discussed in public affairs. Mareng Winnie then asked for their proposals on how to deal with it and Wanggo said that in his talks, he is encouraging people to have an open and matured conversation about sex. Mr. Castro agreed and he said that education should be at the grassroots level of society. He mentioned that what they do now is to do capacity building in different communities in local governments wherein the communities themselves can make, implement and institute their own programs and projects on HIV/AIDS.

Mareng Winnie then asked the plan of the UNDP and the DOH on the increasing number of cases of HIV/AIDS in the country. Mr. Castro said that the plan of the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC) is to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS by the year 2015. Mareng Winnie also asked if they are reaching out to the homosexual groups and Wanggo said that in the social networking world, people are already inquiring about HIV/AIDS from him. Mr. Castro said that DOH has even an online outreach program. Usually DOH visits the social networking sites frequently visited by men having sex with men (MSM) and this is where it reaches its target population. This program started around 2007, he added as part of the Global Fund project. Mareng Winnie said that since the cases are still increasing, then the programs on HIV/AIDS are flops. Mr. Castro said that though it is frustrating even to them, he said that their goal is to reach 80% of the total population to make an impact. He said that the good news is that they are seeing local community responses and they are the ones who are disseminating the information.

Mareng Winnie's last question was how can anybody suspect that an individual has HIV/AIDS. wanggo said that he just suspected when he lost wait brought about by the infections that he had brought about by HIV. She finished it off by saying that anybody will know that he or she is a candidate to have HIV/AIDS only by knowing his or her sexual behavior. Wanggo said that if the person knows that he is at risk, he needs to be get tested.

It is good to watch shows that feature HIV/AIDS. We know that in our country a lot of people are still blind and deaf when it comes to discussions about HIV/AIDS. I just hope that there would be frequent shows like this that will educate our nation about the state of the nation when it comes to our disease. I wish that more people will come out, more voices will be heard so that that 80% of our  population as Mr. Castro mentioned will be reached and be informed about HIV/AID


Self Empowerment Training 3 & 4


INVITATION TO ALL PERSONS LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS IN THE PHILIPPINES



SELF EMPOWERMENT TRAINING (SET) 
LAST 2 BATCHES OF TRAINING 
HAPPENING THIS SEPTEMBER !!!!

3RD BATCH: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012, 2PM TO 7PM
                                          SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2012, 8AM TO 1PM

4TH BATCH: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2012, 2PM TO 7PM
      SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2012, 8AM TO 1PM
                     

NO REQUIREMENTS NEEDED!!

CONTACT: Ate Beth 0917- 836-0312. You can also email me at pozziepinoy@yahoo.com if you have any inquiries. Please indicate your complete name with middle initials for the certificates and ID.

This is a project of RITM-ARG and training is FREE! First come first served basis only. Limited slots available.

 RESERVE YOUR SLOT NOW!







Thursday, August 23, 2012

Philippines Fighting HIV

The key to preventing the spread of HIV is knowing our status. Awareness then is the step towards eradicating it. If we know our status, if we know if we are HIV positive or not by getting ourselves tested, then we become an active advocate in preventing the spread of it.

Know your HIV status. Get tested now and tell others to get tested too.





HIV Awareness Video


Although done in 2007, this award winning video still applies up to now.





                                                            *******************


*** Please donate to the LOVE FUND. It is for the benefit of the indigent pozzies that are in dire need of financial help especially for their initial lab tests and OI medications. This is a project of Dr. Rossana A. Ditangco.

If you want to donate:

1. Deposit your cash donations to:

                BDO Savings Account Number: BDO Savings Account Number: 1420060188
                Account Name:  Rossana A. Ditangco

                Account Name:  Rossana A. Ditangco

  1. Personal cash donations to RITM-ARG and look for Ellen Domingo or Maram Bartolome. 
  2. Also accepting donations in kind:

*** Medicines for OI Prophylaxis
a. Cotrimoxazole -800mg
b. Azithromycin -250mg and 500 mg

Please email me at pozziepinoy@yahoo.com. I will give you the details of the LOVE FUND. Monthly updates on the beneficiaries of the LOVE FUND will be posted in my blog.

Thank you so much!

Church Workshops on HIV/AIDS


I just want to repost this as this is very crucial to our country. The Catholic Church in the Philippines is now trying to help with HIV/AIDS awareness and this is a great milestone to the prevention of the spread of the disease.

I am reposting it from the Philippine National AIDS Council website: Manila Archbishop... to help with the awareness programs of HIV/AIDS in the country.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle has called on the priests, religious, seminarians and lay people of the Archdiocese of Manila to know more about HIV-AIDS a disease that is increasing its presence in the Philippines. He has scheduled two separate workshop sessions, one for two full days for priests and religious and another for a full day for seminarians and laypeople.

The first workshop will be held on August 22-23, 2012 at the San Carlos Seminary auditiorium, San Carlos Formation Complex, EDSA, Makati City; the other on August 24 at the Layforce chapel also in the same compound.

Both workshops will be conducted by Msgr. Robert Vitillo, special adviser on HIV & AIDS for Caritas Internationalis and head of the International Delegation to the UN in Geneva. Caritas Internationalis and the Catholic Medical Mission Board organized Msgr. Vitillo’s workshop upon the request of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.


In two separate circulars Archbishop Tagle said that there is a need to learn more about Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (IDS) so that the local church can come up with an effective and appropriate pastoral response to the silent epidemic.  He cited the CBCP Pastoral Letter on AIDS issued in 2011, titled, “Who Is My Neighbor?”, wherein the bishops emphasized, “Church workers, seminarians and the clergy must be equipped with basic knowledge about HIV & AIDS and complementary pastoral counselling skills in order to bring hope, healing and reconciliation to those vulnerable to the virus, those infected and affected by HIV, through the sacraments and pastoral care” (2).

He also noted that nine new cases of HIV infections are reported daily, of which 52 per cent is in the National Capital Region. He said that while the global trend is decreasing, the number of HIV cases is rising in the Philippines, as doubling time continues to shorten. “of the 9,669 reported cases from 1984 to May 2012, 5,245 cases (or 54 per cent of total cases) were recorded between 2010 and 2012. What is alarming is that the 20-29 year old age group has had the most number of cases.”

Archbishop Tagle urged attendance to the workshop of the groups concerned to “help the Archdiocese mainstream HIV in all existing ministries and protect families, especially our young people, from the virus which until now has no cure.”

The workshops in the Archdiocese of Manila are being coordinated by the Ministry on Health Care with Fr. Jun Abogado as minister. He can be contacted at telephone number 727-5752 or mobile number 0908-8830851.





                                                                 *******************


*** Please donate to the LOVE FUND. It is for the benefit of the indigent pozzies that are in dire need of financial help especially for their initial lab tests and OI medications. This is a project of Dr. Rossana A. Ditangco.

If you want to donate:

1. Deposit your cash donations to:

                BDO Savings Account Number: BDO Savings Account Number: 1420060188
                Account Name:  Rossana A. Ditangco

                Account Name:  Rossana A. Ditangco

  1. Personal cash donations to RITM-ARG and look for Ellen Domingo or Maram Bartolome. 
  2. Also accepting donations in kind:

*** Medicines for OI Prophylaxis
a. Cotrimoxazole -800mg
b. Azithromycin -250mg and 500 mg

Please email me at pozziepinoy@yahoo.com. I will give you the details of the LOVE FUND. Monthly updates on the beneficiaries of the LOVE FUND will be posted in my blog.

Thank you so much!


Take Charge!



I’ve heard this story from a fellow poz about a recent death of another poz. Let’s call him “Alex”. He was diagnosed last 2010 and his CD4 was 400 then. Then he just took his health for granted. Never again did he go back to his treatment hub and this year, 2012, he went back to his treatment hub and his CD4 was already too low. He passed away with multiple organ failure.

We have a responsibility to our health. As soon as we find out our HIV status, we should always monitor our health, especially our CD4 count, the viral load and the presence of infections. We know that left unattended, our immune system might get weaker and we just don’t know how fast it will be. So we should be alert and take charge of our health.

To “Alex”, you didn’t die in vain. You can and will be an example to everybody from now on.



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

HIV Disclosure

When I got sick with pneumonia and was diagnosed with HIV, the first thing that came to my mind was to tell my siblings and my parents. I felt that I needed to do that so I can focus on my health. I knew it will be a burden to them knowing that I acquired my serious and incurable illness but I had to do it to unload something from my mind and my heart. I never even thought if they would accept me or not afterwards but I knew, that because of our strong relationship, that they would understand. Well, they did. 


PP Prayer's List 8



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 Prayers:

1. RL (real initials)
2. EQ (real initials)
3. LB (real initials)
4. ES (real initials)
5. Star's Mom

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. J (real initial)
80. JL (real initials)
81. r10-aac


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 (Ate Ellen)
7. Ms. Maram Bartolome
8. Ms. Amelita Perez
9. Dr. Jepricito
10. Dr. Gia Sison
11. Elizabeth N. Navo (Ate Beth)



                                                            *******************


*** Please donate to the LOVE FUND. It is for the benefit of the indigent pozzies that are in dire need of financial help especially for their initial lab tests and OI medications. This is a project of Dr. Rossana A. Ditangco.

If you want to donate:

1. Deposit your cash donations to:

                BDO Savings Account Number: BDO Savings Account Number: 1420060188
                Account Name:  Rossana A. Ditangco

                Account Name:  Rossana A. Ditangco

  1. Personal cash donations to RITM-ARG and look for Ellen Domingo or Maram Bartolome. 
  2. Also accepting donations in kind:

*** Medicines for OI Prophylaxis
a. Cotrimoxazole -800mg
b. Azithromycin -250mg and 500 mg

Please email me at pozziepinoy@yahoo.com. I will give you the details of the LOVE FUND. Monthly updates on the beneficiaries of the LOVE FUND will be posted in my blog.

Thank you so much!




HIV and Dengue



Being a person with HIV/AIDS, I see to it that I am knowledgeable about the different infections that are prevalent in our country. Tag and I are always on the lookout, trying to prevent infections as we both know that because of my weak immune system, any infection can be magnified. 

Today in the early morning news, I head from the newscasters about the outbreak of dengue again since it has been raining recently. Because of this, I started to do my research once again. All my readers, you can email me at pozziepinoy@yahoo.com if you have additional information regarding this topic.

Status of Dengue in the Philippines

In the Philippines the Department of Health (DOH) claimed that dengue has afflicted 51,597 individuals from Jan. 1 to July 14, 2012 and the number continues to rise. In a report, the DOH said the figure is 16.43 percent higher than the 44,315 cases recorded during the same period last year. Most of the dengue cases were from the National Capital Region (NCR) (22.24 percent), Calabarzon (14.08 percent) and Central Luzon (13.65 percent), according to the report. Ages of the cases ranged from less than one month to 90 years old. Of the 51,597 cases, 324 have died, representing a case fatality rate of 0.63 percent.  This is also higher than the 293 deaths during the same period last year.

The DOH report showed Metro Manila accounted for 11,476 of the cases and for 57 deaths. Of this number, 3,589 cases came from Quezon City; 1,931 from Manila; 1,376 from Caloocan City; 674 from Parañaque; 655 from Valenzuela; 595 from Pasig; 457 from Malabon; 410 from Taguig; 333 from Pasay City; 303 from Las Piñas; 255 from Makati; and 239 from Marikina.

With this alarming statistics, anybody is a candidate for an infection. 

What is Dengue?

WHO said that dengue is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses. It occurs in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Symptoms appear 3—14 days after the infective bite. Dengue fever is a febrile illness that affects infants, young children and adults.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dengue?

Symptoms range from a mild fever, to incapacitating high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash. There are no specific antiviral medicines for dengue. It is important to maintain hydration. Use of acetylsalicylic acid (e.g. aspirin) and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Ibuprofen) is not recommended.

Dengue haemorrhagic fever (fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding) is a potentially lethal complication, affecting mainly children. Early clinical diagnosis and careful clinical management by experienced physicians and nurses increase survival of patients.

Treatment for Dengue

Because dengue fever is caused by a virus, there is no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat it. For typical dengue, the treatment is purely concerned with relief of the symptoms. Rest and fluid intake for adequate hydration is important. Aspirin and non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs should only be taken under a doctor's supervision because of the possibility of worsening bleeding complications. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and codeine may be given for severe headache and for joint and muscle pain 

Dengue Coinfection

It is known that HIV infection alters the natural history of other infections, often leading to more severe presentations and worse outcomes. It is an important condition in our country, being a part of the tropical region wherein the interaction between HIV infection and other endemic tropical diseases has been frequently described. However, there is little literature on the clinical presentations and outcomes of dengue infection in HIV infected persons. 

Prognosis for a Typical Dengue Fever

Typical dengue is fatal in less than 1% of cases. The acute phase of the illness with fever and myalgias lasts about one to two weeks. Convalescence is accompanied by a feeling of weakness (asthenia), and full recovery often takes several weeks.

Prevention and Early Detection

In an interview, Lyndon Lee Suy, DOH Dengue Control Program manager, has reiterated the call for the public to eliminate all possible breeding sites of mosquitoes to prevent dengue outbreaks. “When cleaning the surroundings make sure that you get rid of anything that can hold water because they can become breeding sites of mosquitoes,” he said.

Most infected people experience Dengur Fever,with terrible headached and fever and rashes that can lasts a week or two. In some cases however,the virus weakens the circulatory system and can lead to haemorrhaging.

Most infected people experience Dengur Fever,with terrible headached and fever and rashes that can lasts a week or two. In some cases however,the virus weakens the circulatory system and can lead to haemorrhaging.

Why is it necessary to use NS1 Antigen test?

1. Early diagnosis of dengue infection is very necessary, especially in the severe cases of the either dengue hemorrhagic fever(DHF) or Dengue Shock Syndrome (DS),which are the major causes of death.

2. Early detection has impact on patient treatment

3. The early diagnosis also prevents further unnecessary investigations and treatment.

4. It helps in proper management and prevention if any sequelae complications

So for all of us with HIV/AIDS conditions, we should always vigilant on our surroundings to prevent Dengue coinfection. Cleanliness is of utmost important. If we are traveling to the other parts of the country, we should always be protected with mosquito repellents and protective gadget. We should always report any symptoms to our infectious disease doctors as soon as possible for better control and treatment of the infection.

Dengue can be prevented. We just have to do our part! 




CREDITS & REFERENCES:

WHO
medicinenet.com
www.freedigitalphotos.net



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






Monday, August 20, 2012

Stupid Mistake


Every time I go on a trip, I am meticulous in packing especially my ARV's. I make sure I have pill boxes in all my luggages so that I won't miss a dose in case a luggage gets misplaced or stolen. Well that didn't happen during my weekend getaway.

On Saturday morning I knew I packed everything. Tag and I left around 2:30 in the afternoon and went to SBMA, a 2 and a half drive from Manila. We arrived in the resort around 5pm, checked in and started to relax. At 7pm, I felt being hot. Was it the aircon, I thought? Then I began to itch. Then all of of a sudden something shocked me. "Oh no", I screamed loud that I bet it reverberated in the neighboring rooms. Tag came out of the shower and asked me fast. "I forgot my ARV's!!!!!", I screamed!

My entire body numbed. For the first time I didn't know what to do. Even Tag was speechless. He then told me to ask Dr. Ditangco if it's OK to miss a dose for the night, then we will just come home the following day and break our 2 day vacation. I texted her and this was her reply:

"Hi Pozziepinoy. Any missed dose is NEVER OK, but usually one missed dose may not have effect in the long term", she replied.

That was it. I told Tag, who was so tired from driving the whole day because of his job and driving to Subic, that I will just take the bus and come home. It would be unwise for both us to come home that evening or me driving home as we were so tired. I told him I can just sleep in the bus and come back to the resort early in the morning. I assured him that even though I haven't taken the bus for a long time, that I will be OK. Good thing he agreed. We called the front desk and asked the the schedule of the last trip of Victory Liner Bus going to Manila. Luckily it was 10pm.I told Tag that it will be Ok for me to be late in taking my ARV's rather than miss taking a dose. He agreed.

That evening, even though Tag was so tired, he drove me out of Subic and dropped me off at Olongapo. I was on the bus at 8:30pm that night, thinking what went wrong.

I arrived in Manila, took the cab from the bus station to my place and took the ARV's at 12 midnight. I was 2 hours late. First time in 11 months that I was ever late in taking my meds. I was always on time. Always on the dot. But it didn't matter that night. It was the best that I could do. I then laid in bed and sleep and rested my tired body.

Hours later, I got up at 4am, took the cab and went back to the bus station and headed back to the resort with 3 containers of my ARV's even though we will be staying there for just one night. I made sure I had ample supply.

That night was really a nightmare. I really apologized to Dr. Ditangco for what happened and I promised myself that it can't happen ever again. I knew I made a stupid mistake and I know now I need to be more prepared every time I would go on a travel.




                                                              *******************


*** Please donate to the LOVE FUND. It is for the benefit of the indigent pozzies that are in dire need of financial help especially for their initial lab tests and OI medications. This is a project of Dr. Rossana A. Ditangco.

If you want to donate:

1. Deposit your cash donations to:

                BDO Savings Account Number: BDO Savings Account Number: 1420060188
                Account Name:  Rossana A. Ditangco

                Account Name:  Rossana A. Ditangco

  1. Personal cash donations to RITM-ARG and look for Ellen Domingo or Maram Bartolome. 
  2. Also accepting donations in kind:

*** Medicines for OI Prophylaxis
a. Cotrimoxazole -800mg
b. Azithromycin -250mg and 500 mg

Please email me at pozziepinoy@yahoo.com. I will give you the details of the LOVE FUND. Monthly updates on the beneficiaries of the LOVE FUND will be posted in my blog.

Thank you so much!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Self Empowerment Training

 INVITATION TO ALL PERSONS LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS IN THE PHILIPPINES



WHAT: SELF EMPOWERMENT TRAINING (SET)

WHEN: SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2012, 2PM TO 7PM
                     SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012, 8AM TO 1PM
                     

NO REQUIREMENTS NEEDED!!

Interested parties can text or call Ate Beth 0917- 836-0312. You can also email me at pozziepinoy@yahoo.com if you have any inquiries. Please indicate your complete name with middle initials for the certificates and ID.

This is a project of RITM-ARG and training is FREE! First come first served basis only. Limited slots available.

 CALL NOW!









Friday, August 17, 2012

Q & A 1: Hepatitis B and HIV-ARV's


TEXT QUESTION

Pozzie: Hey I have a question. Do you have Hepa B? Because we have the same regimen.

POZZIEPINOY: What do you mean?

Pozzie: If you have a co-infection of Hepa B? Because I remember we have the same regimen. I have a friend who has coinfection of HIV and Hepa B and he takes the same meds like us: lamivudine, tenofovir and efavirenz. He's been undetectable with Hepa B viral load for 3 years. But now, his latest test showed 1k plus viral load of Hepa B. He's really scared. Me too. :( Does it mean that he has developed resistance?

POZZIEPINOY: He should ask his doctor. The ARV's are directed for the immune system and not to directly prevent any infection. I just had my last vaccination, my 3rd shot 3 months ago.

Pozzie: Lucky you...

POZZIEPINOY: How about you?

Pozzie: I already did.

POZZIEPINOY: So dont be scared. Ask your doctor first.

Because I thought that it was a good question to ponder about, I asked Dr. Ditangco about it. This was her reply:

Dr. Ditangco: Anybody can still get Hepa B and the only way to prevent it is thru vaccination. Hepa B vaccination is given double dose for HIV patients. The best way to know if the Hepa B vaccination is working is by getting a titer.

Because of this, I asked my GI doctor for a prescription to have a titer. I wanna know if the hepa B vaccine that was administered to me is really working for me or not. With a compromised immune system, it is still best to be proactive about our health.





                                                               







Thursday, August 16, 2012

"STAR"



Since I was a young kid, I always look up at the night sky and see the billions of stars somewhat glued on to the blanket of darkness.. Amazed by it, I studied constellations and the galaxy. I read about myths about them, about how they are placed in the sky like souls of men looking down on us at night, when the sky is dark, when our spirits are down. 

I met “Star” in twitter. He was a blogger too like me. I read about his stories, his “happy times”, his HIV status. He was a part of the twitter community of HIV positives and I had lots of opportunities of chatting with him online. Most of the time he would chat about anything, men, flirting, his friends all over the world and his mom. He would tweet about his illnesses, his dreams and ambitions, his crushes and everything that a guy his age would talk about. We exchanged numbers but it seemed that our level of interests were different so we never really bonded. We basically would just greet each other and would check on each other’s day to day activities.

I directly messaged him one time when he said that he felt like he had a stroke. On twitter he said that he had seizure attacks and he didn’t know what to do. I immediately messaged him and I called him fast to talk to him about his health condition. I told him that he needed to go to RITM first thing in the morning. He said he would. I told him that I might also be there as I would be assisting a friend with his donations to The Love Fund.

The following day, I completely have forgotten Star and was just shocked when while I was  talking to Ate Ellen in RITM-ARG, somebody called me. “Pozzie!”, I looked at him questioning and he said “I’m Star”. He was a slim guy, fair skinned, short in stature, around 5’6 in height and with marks of rashes on his arms and neck. I was a bit busy with Dr. Ditangco for The Love Fund donations that I told Star that I will talk to him in a few minutes.

I went back to Star when he was already sitting on the couch in the reception area of RITM-ARG with his mom. I first talked to him and he told me that he was waiting for his consultation with the doctor. I told him that he needed to fight back and regain his strength back by eating and by resting. I then talked to his mom and she said that he was hardheaded and was not following whatever she told him to do. I told the mom that I was like Star, hardheaded too so she just needed to understand him. I turned to Star and told him that his mom meant him well so be a good boy and follow her. I then called Letlet, one of the nurses there to assist them with PCSO and The Love Fund as the mom said that they already have financial issues. Before leaving them in the clinic, I gave my calling card to his mom to call me in case that she had questions about our disease. I then bid them goodbye.

From that time on, Star kept on calling and texting me for help. First, he was thinking that he had meningitis and CMV Retinitis. I advised him to go back to RITM-ARG for consultation again. I contacted Maram and Letlet to assist him once again. Later that day, he said that he was in another hospital as he was having a CMV test and unfortunately the result won’t be out that day. I told him to be patient. He however was becoming restless and insisted that he needed to go back to RITM-ARG. From that time on, he started to become manipulative, telling me to ask the staff to admit him in the hospital, telling me to text Dr. Ditangco that there were no vacancies in the hospital and that he can’t wait any longer and that he needed immediate treatment. I somehow did what he requested however the staff can’t do anything about it. Dr. Ditangco even said that if he needed to be admitted then she can refer him to another hospital since there were no available rooms in RITM. There was a day that another pozzie called me and he told me that Star had been screaming and creating a commotion in the reception area of RITM-ARG. I can’t do anything anymore. Star then texted me that the doctor said that he needed to see a psychiatrist. I never made a single comment.

Days passed and everybody started to be bothered by Star over the twitter community. I would read about his tweets showing his delusions of grandeur. He started to argue with other pozzies. I was somehow taken aback. I didn’t know what to do anymore.

Then everything stopped. His tweets. His text messages. 

That was exactly a month ago.

Yesterday, at exactly 2:34pm, Maram of RITM-ARG called me and told me that Star passed away. I was shocked and called Maram again and asked her everything. Was she sure that it was Star? The one that I assisted in RITM-ARG? The thin guy with marks of rashes on his arms and neck? The guy who was with his mom who I talked to when I was there? She confirmed it. When I hung up, my body become numb and hot. I felt the effect of efavirenz all over my body as I began to think of what happened to him. 

I messaged my partner Tag, and I asked him if he can get off work and come with me to see Star in RITM. I felt I had to know. I felt I had a responsibility to see either him or his mom. Tag, without even thinking, came home to pick me up.

By 3:30pm we were on the road. I texted Maram that we were on our way there and asked if it was possible to see his mom. She replied and gave the number of Star’s mom to me. We arrived at RITM-ARG at 4:15pm and Let, Maram, Ate Beth and Marvin greeted me. They told me everything. Then I called Star’s mom who was in the lobby of the main hospital waiting for the funeral services to arrive. Marvin volunteered to take me to her.

In the lobby, I saw a short woman wearing a violet blouse and dark pants. Marvin said it was Star’s mom. Then I recognized her face and I felt heaviness in my heart, confirming everything. I approached her and introduced myself. She immediately recognized me. I immediately hugged her and she started to sob on my shoulder. I felt her entire body shudder and falling into my arms. I felt the heaviness in her soul as I told her my condolences.

She started talking and told me everything. I stood there composed and strong for her, assuring that everything will be alright to a grieving mom. Tears flowed naturally on her face as she was telling me of all the good things about Star, that he was a good son and sibling, that he had a good plan for his future. I stood there feeling all her love for her son.

I told her that I came in behalf of the his twitter family. I told her that Star had friends in the twitter community and I offered any assistance if her family needed something. She thanked me with all her heart. I told her that Star is in a better place now. Somehow I saw a tinge of smile on her face before she started balling again. 

I left RITM-ARG with a heavy heart. A lot things came to my mind. I was asking myself if I could have done more for him, then maybe he could not have reached this demise. Tag calmed me down and told me that I can’t do everything for him and that we should just pray that he may rest in peace now. I agreed with him.

The twitter world heard the news however, most didn’t know how he died. A lot of people texted me but I told all of them that his soul is at rest now and we should just think of all the happy memories we had with Star when he was alive. I still stayed strong for other pozzies who became depressed because of the event that happened during that one afternoon. Everybody then turned and stayed positive. Love was everywhere... asking for prayers, asking for donations, asking for strength and positivities in the community. I, somehow, was gladdened by the impact on the community and I told myself that Star didn’t die in vain.

That night as I laid myself to bed, when my body started to relax, I started to cry. 

Life is fleeting. We should strive hard to enjoy life. Even with our illness we should appreciate life and fight and overcome all obstacles.

Now, Star is back on the dark sky with the multitudes of stars around him. He is once again glittering. He, once again, is happy. He is at peace and is back in the arms of the Creator. He is looking at us and once more, he is smiling.




Credits and References:



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