Email 376: PLHIV Story: 777

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 8:45 PM

Dear Mr. Pozziepinoy

Hi! Hope everything is fabulous! :)

 I just wanna share the beginning of my journey being a Pozzie, it was April 26 of this year when I was diagnosed as HIV positive in Singapore. I felt shocked and didn't know what to do. There's only one person that I shared my situation with and that's my manager at work. Good thing in Singapore, the doctors don't care about your employer all they need to do said the doctor is they just have to report it to the ministry of health so whatever excuses or alibis you want to say with your colleagues it's just fine and my manager helped me with that. 


I finished my contract may 2nd and I got extended for 2 weeks to settle everything before I got back here in the philippines. That 2 weeks was really difficult for me coz I felt like I was all alone especially  the 1st week after I got diagnosed, I couldn't sleep and I was hyperventilating that made my gastro reflux got worst I guess plus I was having rashes and my whole body was itching which I didn't know what's really happening to me but those started already a week before I got diagnosed.

 I just kept in praying instead and all of a sudden while researching and learning about this disease I found your blog site which from that time it became my bible for my last 2 weeks stay in SG.  It's really informative and inspiring to read the different stories of my co-pozzies as well as your advices. I even messaged you on viber on what to do. Thanks for the reply though. On my 2nd week I got the realization that this won't be a hindrance for me to reach my American dream coz that was really my goal why I decided to work in SG. So what I did I exercised a lot, I ran everyday and started to watch my diet making sure that I eat healthy food. And when I got back here I still didn't have the courage to tell my situation to my family nobody knows. I messaged you again using my local no coz you told me to message you once I got back but I didn't get a reply from you, I just thought that maybe you're out of the country or you just have a busy schedule that time. 

Anyway since I already learned a lot from your blog on what to do, I went to RITM Satelite in Malate, you're true, staff are nice and non-judgemental. After my registration, Anthony called me to go upstairs for some talk and counselling. Anthony by the way is one of the volunteers of Loveyourself organization who gave the counselling and he even visited me the next day at ritm-Arg alabang. He's really nice. I even told him that Im interested of joining the group to be a volunteer like him. Moving on, the next day in Alabang, I got the baseline tests which includes the cd4 count and some tb tests. I already gained friends who are newbies like me. Around mid afternoon I was able to talk to my doctor he told me that my cd4 is 777 which I was so happy coz we are already informed initially that if the cd4 is 350 and below you will be given medication. My doctor told me that I just have to be physically fit and continue my healthy lifestyle and then after 6 mos. I have to go back for my cd4 testing again. I just have a question Mr. Pozziepinoy why I shouldn't be given a medication when I think it will help me to prevent the virus from spreading in an early stage since my cd4 is 777. What is your take on this? Right now my derma issue is already ok, the only thing I'm bothered right now is my gastro reflux and slight asthma but I'm taking prescribed medicines from a private doctor for my slight asthma. Hopefully I can start working already next month. 

I also want to acknowledge the people of ritm-arg alabang, all of them are so helpful! God bless you all guys and also to you Mr. Pozziepinoy for sure there will still be a lot of people like me who will benefit this blog. Kudos to you Sir! Never ending thank you and before I park my pen I just wanna say to all that we have to be at our best coz I know cure is coming and it will be soon. Have a good one!

Sincerely yours,
Cartmanpoz


POZZIEPINOY'S RESPONSE

Hi Cartmanpoz.

Thank you for your email and for sharing with me and my readers your story. Thank you the kind words about the blog. I am glad that I was able to guide you through it. I am so sorry for not replying the second time that you messaged or called me as lately I have been busy with work and my upcoming trip outside the country. Although it is pretty hectic for me, I still try to squeeze in some emails to respond to or some text messages to reply so I can still help those who are needing.

I am glad that you took the first steps as guided by the blog. I am glad that you are done with all the necessary steps and I am happy that the people of both RITM Satellite Clinic in Malate and RITM-ARG have been very helpful to you. I won't recommend them if I know that they are not.

With regards to your question, I know that in the first world countries, even though the PLHIV's CD4 counts are still high, they can already take the ARV's. Well of course not in our country for the simple reason that we don't pay for our ARV's but they are subsidized by the Global Fund. It is their policy and that of DOH that only those who have CD4 counts of 350 and below will be prescribed with the FREE ARV's here in the country. Well we can't complain unless of course you want to buy your own ARV's from the other countries which will cost you around $2000 a month. Expensive huh? For now, like what I always tell my readers, "beggars can't be choosers". We have to accept the policy as the only ARV's that are available here are the one's that are subsidized by the GF. We don't even have an option to buy here as they are not available in the local pharmacies.

As much as the other countries have conducted studies that it is best the take ARV's even though the CD4 counts are still high for the immune system to rebound faster, still we can't do anything about it, for now. Unless of course, our government will have funds to finally pay for our ARV's, then that will be another matter.

Once again, I am happy that you have still a high CD4 count. Always stay healthy, exercise, eat a balanced diet, don't get sick and follow the instructions of your doctors and counsellors and nothing will go wrong.

Stay healthy,
Pozziepinoy