PLHIV Story: My Teachable Points

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 9:49 PM

Hey Pozzie,

Reading your blogs and the information you posted in this site has been of great help for me to move forward. If I may, I would like to share my story and I hope this will be able to enlighten someone who is going through the same journey as ours.

2012 was an unforgettable year for me. September last year, I noticed that I am always coughing. I consulted the doctor and he said that I am just experiencing allergies. I kept on drinking medicines but to avail. I also noticed that I was losing a lot of weight, I  was easily getting tired and I was turning very pale. I thought it was just an effect of the allergies or just an effect of stress at work. December 2012, I had this opportunity to travel. I didn't expect that my turning point starts there. While I was in that far away land, I started developing fever, white spots appeared in my tongue and palate and I had difficulty breathing. It was so hard to breathe that I experienced palpitations and I have to sit down to get some sleep. I was supposed to stay there for 21 days but I decided to go home on  
my 13th day, I just can't bear what I feel and I don't want to be hospitalized in a foreign land. To cut the long story short, I was taken to the hospital upon arrival at NAIA. Upon examination and diagnosis, I got a dandy set of diseases that are usually contracted by people who are immuno-suppressed . I had oral thrushes, pneumonia, PCP and TB of the large intestines. The doctors said that I should have myself tested and expect the  possibility that I might have AIDS. It was hard pill to swallow but I told myself, instead of wallowing into it, life has to move on. There's no room to deny the situation if I want to live. I know that a lot of things in my life will change and I have to accept that it's part of the bargain for me to survive.

I started with my family. I started involving them in discussions with my ID doctor. I know that it it will be a big blow to them but I rather be honest and get the support that I need from them. I am lucky to have understanding siblings and a very strong, caring mother.  They faced the situation headstrong and helped me a lot with my needs. I know that they  
were sad about the news but they remained strong and jolly for me.  In turn, I did my best to be optimistic about the situation as I do not want their efforts to go in vain.

I received my confirmation letter last January 2013 and as expected, I am HIV positive. I took my CD4 test and my count is at 64, meaning, I have AIDS.  I started my ARVs last February and the first month was rough. There were times that I was on the brink of giving up but I always remind myself that I have to be strong for my own sake and for the people who loves me.

I started telling my closest friends of my situation. At first, I was scared of what will be their reaction. They were sad but I told them not to be as I am alive and I will be able to live a normal life. Having AIDS at this time and age is like having diabetes or hypertension. You just need to be religious with the medications. I promised myself not to smoke, drink  
and stay up late anymore. I make sure that I sleep  8-10 hours every day. I always drink my vitamins as well.

Things got better last April. I started reporting for work. I was regaining my health and my life back. I started hitting the gym last June. I started going to places and travel. Had time with friends but in gimmicks anymore.  I took another CD4 test last June and my CD4 went up to 215.  My  doctor was soo happy with my progress. It was relatively a fast increase in  

To pay things forward, I am actively crafting an AIDS/HIV Awareness program in my company to inform and educate my co-workers about this disease.  For us to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines, culture-change needs to happen. Somehow, education is the driver for change. One employee at a time, one person less who doesn't know about HIV/AIDS.

To wrap up, I just want to share my teachable points:

1.  Acceptance is key to move forward.
2.  Support from family and friends is vital for us to surpass the  
challenges of this disease.
3.  It's not the end of the world, it's important to be positive
4. Prayers can move the most massive mountains.

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


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