PLHIV Story: My New Life in the US

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 9:14 AM

I applaud you for doing great in your blog. I started blogging about my journey in 2007 but graduate school consumed me and wasn't able to continue writing about my so-called life living with HIV.

Anyways, I am like you PLHIV, and I got diagnosed in 2007 when the University that accepted me went thru with the routine physical examination for all incoming grad students. Prior to that when I arrived in the US, I acquired shingles, so I told that to the doctors in the University and so knowing that I had shingles they said we have to do all the STD test including HIV test. Luckily I got cleared from STD's but unluckily, I got the virus. It was November 1. I consider it my new birthday. I was alone at that time. Felt numb for a while but I shook it off because I know I should not fall into depression. It was my first few months in the states and I have to be strong. I couldn't cry, I just felt numb. I called my best friend in Texas, she's an MD so she told me it will not be the end. She made me stronger. Then called my other best friend nearby me and asked her if she could accompany me to my tests. She willingly said yes. At night I would feel the loneliness but in the morning I get myself occupied with school and my teaching.

When the University received the results, they already have arranged a meeting for me with a case manager at the county health department. It's part counseling and treatment. I immediately got into the ADAP (drug assistance program) of the state. My case manager is so good that in the following weeks my doctor's appointment and medicines are all set. That was of course after all the lab tests. I was in a very strong ARV immediately because of my numbers. I remember I was on Atripla for a year and then when my numbers went to undetectable after a year and a half, they switch me to a cocktail of Norvir, Lexiva, and Truvada. Right now, I am undetectable and still enjoying the support of the state while I am finishing my graduate program. 

I am a bit scared tho because when I get back to the Philippines, I will not have access to these ARV's. That would be three years from now when I graduate from my doctorate. This is how I came across your blog. I am constantly keeping myself informed of the situation in the Philippines. Hopefully, three years from now, PLHIV would no longer be deprived of ARV's. 

Keep up the good work. 
Magnificent Mile

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


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