PLHIV Story: "Don't Give Up"

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 6:41 AM


Here's my story:

Hi. Im living with HIV currently on my 8th month of anti-retroviral therapy. I contracted the disease in the late 1990's when I used needles in line with my drug addiction. I am also coinfected with hepatitis C virus,again, because of my teenage needle use. Unknowingly lived with it for a decade and a half. As years  passed, i started getting throat infections and weird flu-like sickness for no reason. then it became more and more frequent. at least once or twice a month.Then mid-December 2012, i was hospitalized and quarantined for severe signs of opportunistic infections such as candida bacterial infection from my mouth down to my intestines, pneumonia and dyslipidemia. Blood was the only liquid coming out of my rear and my mouth. my throat was constricted and could not talk. i couldn't swallow anything for weeks. erratic and convulsing fever. My whole body was swollen and it was just rashes all over. I lost 20lbs in a matter of days. I was dying. My doctor gave me 50/50 chance of recovery and one word to describe my whole ordeal: HELL 

So my doctor did a quantitative hiv test and i got whooping  10million+copies/ml viral load & low cd4. My world was crushed when i found out. Although i have to say, years before, i've started suspecting i was hiv+.I honestly thought it was all too late and that was the end. However, god gave me a second chance in life. I started responding to the hi-dose antibiotics they were giving me. Then i started and deligently followed my cocktail of arv's. im taking lavimudine ziduvudine & efaverinz. Also taking cotrimoxazole to keep me from pneumonia and fibrates to control my spiking cholesterol levels. And lots of supplements. through all the specialized care &  medical follow-ups, i recovered. I rested for 2 months after my hospital admission. Now i feel i'm back to where i was before i got sick: Normal.

HiV, as i once misunderstood as a "death sentence" is not at all true. Or to say the least, Not anymore. It's more of a "life sentence" that requires three things to get going: Prayers, a healthy lifestyle and a strong commitment to anti-retroviral treatment. Now i got myself back to the level of living which everyone else would perceive as normal. I know, i'm saying it like it's so easy. But just like any other challenge we deal with, overcoming and conquering them made my life more worth living for.

Now for those who are scared to go through the test. I totally feel you. But please, please, please do yourself a favor and don't wait til you start getting sick. The only reason i ended up in the hospital and went through all the needless suffering: i did not get tested early and in turn did not go through arv therapy. 

If you've used needles or have had unprotected sex with several partners,  please get tested. I wouldn't want anyone else to suffer the consequences of delaying the test and treatment like i did. If ever you find out you're hiv+, please don't worry about the meds. ARV medicines are free. However, the cost of getting hospitalized and the meds you'll be taking because you're not doing ARV treatment early is expensive.

I also would like to take this chance to thank my boyfriend of four and a half years. Thank you for staying with me through it all. There was never a moment you left my side. i'll never forget the time you'd soak cottonballs in water and wipe my lips just to alleviate the dryness, cracking and pain. How you'd make sure my oxygen tubes were not loose and i was breathing through it you'd lay by my bedside just so i'll get warmthed when i was convulsing. How you'd try to cheer me up with a big smile every painful waking morning. How you always whispered to my ear " we're in this together" and told me "we're gonna grow old together,don't give up on me now". The one reason i refused to die during that time was that i was holding on to someone. And that someone was you. I love you very much and i'll stay strong as long as i can. So we can go on, live long and die of old age. 


I hope this can help others understand how important it is to get tested early.

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


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