Email 409: Concerns of an OFW Woman

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 7:04 PM


I live and work here in XXX for 3 years now. My contract will finish next year around August 2014 and now I’m worried to renew my contract because of what was happened to me recently. It is a requirement here in UAE or in any Gulf countries for HIV test to be able to get the working/resident visa.

Here’s my story.

To be honest, I had multiple sex partners in the past and last year when I got my first papsmear I was diagnosed with yeast infection (Candida Albicans). It was easily treated but it normally came back when I drink alcohol. My OB said, because alcohol causes poor hygiene. But I couldn't stop drinking.
A month ago, I got drunk and had unprotected sex with a guy I met in facebook. The day after our sex, my yeast infection came back again (itchy vagina and discharge). I took medicine which my doctor prescribed when I was first diagnosed with it - Gyno Mikozal 400mg for 3days and Oramax 150mg, I think it was treated. And then, one week after my contact I noticed 4 red spots on my skin. They were flat and non-itchy, then a day after it disappeared. I thought it's just due to the heat outside because I’d stayed for like 30mins in the sun. Then after that, no more signs appear.
After 3 weeks (also my period has passed), I noticed this red spots appeared along with other symptoms of ARS. The rashes last for like 2-3days in my skin then will disappear and come back and then again go away. It last for a week like that, and they are only few like 2-3 spots when then appear. I ignore the other symptoms thinking that I’m always outside under the sun of 38-42 C degrees. I got fatigue, diarrhea, muscle pain and sometimes headache that last for a week. Now, I’m on my 5th weeks after my intercourse and noticed that my left underarms are swollen! I checked on the internet, one of the lymph nodes.
After reading the signs of early HIV infection that most of them are with me, I’m freaking out right now! I can’t be tested now in here because of their rules. If the UAE government found out that I have HIV, they will send me back to Philippines and deported!
I’m going back to Philippines on XXX for my holiday. I am planning to get tested in the Philippines and if the result will be positive, I will just finish my contract and go back to Philippines for good.
My question is, how long will the result come out? Coz I will only have 30 days in the Philippines for my vacation. And, if I have HIV when did I get it? Is it possible that my partner has it and he just passed it to me? Or is it me that is infected because of having yeast infection? And where can I get an HIV Test in the Philippines?
I wanna know if all that I have experienced were signs and symptoms of having HIV. I’m still not losing hope!
Please can you help me with all of these questions?
Thank you so much for your time and you help.

Best Wishes,


Hi A.

Thank you for your email. Thank you for sharing your story and concern with us.

Although you itemized all that you were experiencing, I can't say that what you have is HIV based on your symptomatology. Let me tell you this simple fact: HIV has non specific symptoms and the only way for one to find out if he or she has HIV is through the HIV test. The symptoms vary from one person to another as HIV affects the immune system of an individual and because of this, there are no specificity as to the signs and symptoms of HIV.

However, the fact still remains that you had unprotected sex which is the most common route for HIV to be transmitted, and in this case there is reason for you to really take action by taking the test. 

Here are the best advice that I can give you:

1. If you can, don't wait for December. Plan a trip back home so you can take the test. Trust me, it is a win-win situation. For all you know, you don't have it. In case, however, you are HIV positive, then you can get treatment fast and plan your future. It is better to know your HIV status as soon as possible than keep on worrying. Some people magnify everything because of over thinking that physical symptoms really show up. People get more sickly even for no reason at all.

2. Consult a doctor there for your other symptoms. Like what Dr. Ditangco, the head of RITM-ARG, has adviced to tell my readers, anybody even without taking the HIV Test yet, should be proactive about their health. Get consultation when you feel or see some signs of infection. Don't wait for the symptoms to aggravate further. It will help you with cheaper treatment in the long run.

Now for your other questions:

1. HIV test result comes out a day after if its negative and two weeks after if it's positive. The reason for this is that the rapid test is just a screening tool and if it detects HIV antibodies in the blood sample, it will be sent to either San Lazaro or RITM for the confirmatory test (Western Blot).

2. In RITM Satelliet Clinic, the HIV Test is free and the result comes out in only 2 hours. This is a confirmed result as two tests are being done to the blood sample and is already 99+ accurate.

3. You alone knows when you got the virus, if indeed you are positive. You can check the timeline of your previous possible HIV exposures.

4. It is possible that you got it from your partner or from somebody else. The best way to find out (and to calm down your nerves) is to tell him to take the test too.

5. You can get the HIV Test in these centers:

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

Stay healthy,

NO PLHIV is alone with his or her struggle with HIV!"


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