The official site of The Project Red Ribbon Care Management Foundation, Inc. (TRR).

  • TRR LOVE FUND

    TRR Love Fund is the arm of the foundation which provides medical assistance to the financially challenged PLHIV.

  • Care assistance for HIV Test

    The Care Assistant Program involves assistance to HIV testing and HIV and AIDS Treatment hubs in the Philippines. Our volunteers schedule the client to the clinic or hub, assist with the procedure in the clinic or hub and conduct peer counseling

  • HOTLINE ASSISTANCE

    With the TRR Hotline Numbers, our volunteers answer concerns and inquiries about HIV and AIDS, do counselling, refers clients to nearest HIV Testing facility, HIV and AIDS Treatment Hub and government and NGO organizations for support

  • PEER COUNSELING

    The foundation volunteers conduct one-on-one counseling either on the phone or in person. They also conduct group counseling

  • SUPPORT GROUP TALK

    The support group talk (SGT) is a program that involves giving HIV lectures by guest speakers, discuss topics about HIV, care, treatment and support, discussion issues related to HIV

  • OUTREACH PROGRAM

    The foundation's outreach program is geared towards providing support to our fellow PLHIV's in the HIV and AIDS Treatment Hubs. Volunteers hand out of donations of medicines and special gifts to PLHIV, give inspirational talks by invited guests to a group of PLHIV, bonding over snacks or meal, visit the sick who are confined in the hospital

  • Referral System

    As part of treatment, the foundation's referral program involves our volunteers referring clients to specialized doctors who are HIV friendly. The foundation has it's own list of specialty doctors of low cost for the indigent PLHIV.

  • Online Support Group

    The foundation has a private Online Support Group in facebook. This group of advocates, supporters, counselors, health Workers and PLHIV

  • Home Health

    Aside from client counselling, the foundation volunteers also do family counselling and home visitation for awareness and continuance of care.

  • Health Fitness

    The foundation believes in holistic approach to treatment and care, thus inclusion of these programs: yoga, dance, swimming, jogging and running, boot camp workouts

  • EVENTS

    As part of awareness and education program, the foundation organizes its own national events to coincide with the international AIDS events: World AIDS Day and International AIDS Candlelight Memorial

Thursday, October 8, 2015

HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines: August 2015 Report

There were 598 new HIV cases in August 2015 as reported by the Department of Health in the HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines by the Epidemiology Bureau.

From the report, 96% were males and the reported modes of transmission were sexual contact, needle sharing among injecting drug users and mother-to-child transmission. 83% of the sexually transmitted cases were among males who have sex with males (MSM).

To date since 1984, there were 11,411 people living with HIV present on ARV's, and there were 27,736 total cases reported to HARP.

For the month of August, there 15 reported deaths.

For more information, please refer to the report below.

(Source: Department of Health, Epidemiology Bureau)







Sunday, September 13, 2015

We Smile at All Obstacles!

A couple of months ago, we tried partnering with a Church based organization. It was agreed that with our partnership, people in selected population will be assisted for their medical needs. TRR and its care managers were so elated that we started getting indigent members of these certain population to be given assistance.

Unfortunately a certain group of individuals blocked this assistance, perhaps spread rumors about TRR or may have given the church-based organization some wrong information about us. The initial list of 30 people living with HIV, who we have submitted for approval for assistance, their needs ranging from PhilHealth payment, milk formula and diapers, vaccinations, laboratory were then not given. TRR then had to tell these unfortunate people, their guardians and mothers, that the partnership didn't materialize at all even with constant follow ups through text and email but our contacts stopped replying although the need is great and a matter of life and death.

TRR is not here to complain at all. We smile at all the gestures, bad or good that other people bestow to us. This article is intended to educate our readers that what TRR is doing is hard, but it becomes even harder when others block our efforts to help others, for whatever reason and purpose, even though everybody knows among the HIV community, among the LGBTI organizations, all the hospital and clinics and advocacy groups that TRR is just a volunteer group and that we do the advocacy just to help those in need.


Project Red Ribbon Care Management Foundation, Inc.
September 2011- September 2015
"We act FAST when we CARE"

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Four Years and the Philippine HIV Scene

September is the anniversary month of the Project Red Ribbon. It is the month when I started the advocacy when I got diagnosed to have HIV and AIDS. 

Since 2011, TRR has addressed the issues of HIV and AIDS in the Philippines from direct care of people living HIV and clients for HIV testing to lobbying for changes in national policies and programs.

What are our accomplishments?

1. The National Hotline Assistance has entertained more than ten thousand calls, more than five thousand referrals to our TRR Care Programs and welfare programs of the government.

2. The TRR websiste/blog is still the number one HIV blog in the country, addressing issues of HIV from all over the world, promotion of different HIV programs nationwide, promotion of the Love Fund.

3. Care Assistance Program has assisted more than five thousand people with medical assistance from the TRR Love Fund.

4. Accomplished monthly programs like:
    a. Support Group Talks
    b. Outreach Programs
    c. Team Buildings for PLHIV
    d. HIV Education and Awareness Talks (HEAT) in schools, companies and barangays
    e. Medical Assistance through Love Fund
    f. Online Support Group

5. Partnership with:
    a. Department of Health, National AIDS/STI Prevention and Control Program
    b. Research Institute for Tropical Medicine
    c. The Love Yourself, Inc.
    d. Asia and the pacific Islanders Coalition on HIV and AIDS, New York
    e. Bliss Lubricants
    f. American Foundation for AIDS Research / Treat Asia (IACM 2015)
    g. Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office
    h. Department of Social Welfare and Development
    i. Baguio Support Group
    j. Wester Visayas Support Group
   k. Yoga for Life
   l. National Council of Churches in the Philippines
   m. Bacolod LGBT 
   n. Manila Pride Council
   o. Philippine Health Insurance

6. Rallied for the release of ARV's in the Bureau of Customs in 2014

7. Assisted in purchasing ARV's from India (2014) and Thailand (2015)

8. Pioneered the new guidelines in PhilHealth including accreditation of social hygiene 
    clinics and formation of trust funds for ARV.

9. Condom and lubricant distribution, fluconazole courtesy of DOH-NASPCP

10. Established referral system between TRR and
      a. Pinoy Plus
      b. all treatment hubs
      c. Social Hygiene Clinics
      d. Different support groups
      e. specialty doctors: surgeons, dentists, pulmonologists, GI doctors, nephrologists, etc.

11. Media Coverage of TRR Programs and PLHIV testimonials

12. Assisted college and university students in theses and research work

13. Commemorated the highly participated, yearly
      a. International AIDS Candlelight Memorial
      b. World AIDS Day

14.  TV and movie personality HIV and AIDS campaigns 

15. DOH National Communications Partner (2015)

16. Road to Awareness Program of the HEAT Team partnering with schools, organizations, 
      barangays.

17. HIV in the Workplace Policy Writing for companies

18. National HIV Testing Week Campaigns (2015): Press conferences, poster making


For four years, TRR has these realizations:

1. People are still dying because of AIDS here in the Philippines:
    a. Because of late testing and treatment due to stigma and discrimination and   
        inadequate national information campaigns
    b. Inadequate HIV health services and inadequate facilities in HIV and AIDS Treatment 
        Hubs
    c. Poor welfare government programs for people living with AIDS:
       i. People stop taking ARVs because they can't afford to go to treatment hubs due to 
           inaccessibility
       ii. People can't afford to be ambulanced from their homes to the hospital
       iii. Expensive management and treatment of opportunistic infections related to HIV
    d. Some treatment Hubs don't file their patients PhilHealth remittances, thus patients 
        don't avail the laboratory tests due to them.
       
2. Up to now the Department of Health has no line item for HIV. The budget for HIV is shared with the other infection- line item. Most of the funds go to treatment rather than prevention campaigns.

3. Different non-government organizations don't get along. Some remain to be focused on 
    work and employment rather than on service and addressing the real issue of HIV in the 
    country.

4. The Department of Labor and Employment has no teeth in implementing the HIV in the Workplace Policy as mandated by the RA 8504 or the Philippine HIV Law. Because of these,
    a. Companies and institutions don't know how to address the issue of stigma and discrimination,the rights of employees to be informed about HIV and AIDS, the rights of people living with HIV, etc.
    b. DOLE continues to give fines (P300-P500) to companies that don't have HIV in the Workplace Policy when in fact, the cases of HIV and people dying from HIV continue to increase.

5. Welfare Programs are poor in the country. 
    a. The Department of Social Welfare and Development can only provide:
        i. P5,000 per PLHIV for medical or financial assistance every 3 months
       ii. Educational Assistance of P5,000 per semester
       iii. Burial Assistance of P5,000
       iv. Livelihood Program of P10,000
       ***DSWD Requires a lot of documents prior to assistance.
    b. Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office requires a lot of documents prior to assistance.
    c. The RED TAPE KILLS! Care should be the priority and the documents should just follow after
        the assistance.

6. Insufficient Health Insurance:    
    a. PhilHealth Outpatient HIV and AIDS Treatment Package
        i. Only covers P30,000 per year
       ii. No monitoring and punishments for treatment hubs that don't file their patients  
          remittances
       iii. No coverage of in-patient hospitalization for crypto-meningits and CMV Retinitis, 
           two of the most expensive AIDS related infections
    b. HMO's
        i. Still continue to NOT to cover HIV and AIDS related conditions
        ii. Doctor's don't disclose the HIV status to help clients with HIV
        iii. Companies are not empowered to fight for the rights of PLHIV to have HMO 
             coverage for the AIDS related infections 

7. Stigma and Discrimination is strong in the country
    a. People are scared to get tested and even be seen in HIV testing centers
    b. People are scared to get treatment and be seen in HIV treatment Hubs
    c. PLHIV still get rejected in hospitals for treatment of AIDS related infections
    d. Government Institutions don't prioritize HIV programs even though the registry shows 
        that it is already an epidemic
    e. Government institutions continue to stigmatize the MSM community as the population 
        to focus on when it comes to HIV and AIDS
    f. NGO's add to stigma and discrimination by "sensationalizing" HIV with MSM

8. NO strong, regular NATIONAL campaign against HIV and AIDS

9. Media is weak in triggering a response from the Philippine population. Every month, media will just capture the data from the HIV and AIDS Registry released by the DOH but fails to do investigative reporting, expose the institutions that are not aggressive in stopping this epidemic.

10. The religious sector still don't encourage the use of condoms to prevent HIV. Though there are now condoms and lubricants in shops, stores and groceries, the mentality because of strong religious foundation continue to stop people from using protection during sex.

11. Sex and HIV education is weak in the educational system in the country. Sex and HIV continue to not be discussed freely in schools, universities and even at home.

12. The Department of Foreign Affairs continues to turn a blind eye on the way OFW diagnosed with HIV gets deported and treated (as criminals) in muslim countries and in Singapore. 

What Needs to Be Done?

The Philippine HIV Problem is about to explode anytime. As the HIV cases and HIV death rates continue to increase, the government continues to be burdened. 

Focus and aggressive actions are needed:

1. The Politicians need to address the HIV issue NOW.
2. Increase the HIV Budget by making an HIV Line item in DOH.
3. Aggressive Prevention Programs in all sectors of society.
4. Engage all government sectors, especially the Department of Education to have sex education and HIV curriculum; DOLE to punish gravely those who do not have HIV in the Workplace Policy; Department of Justice to have programs for PLHIV who have been stigmatized and discriminated; the  DOH to discredit hospitals, clinics and doctors that don't follow the RA 8504; the Department of Foreign Affairs to have a dialogue with muslim countries and Singapore for humane treatment of OFW-PLHIVs
5. Massive National Awareness Campaigns and media investigating government officials not prioritizing HIV and AIDS Programs, process and quality of the health care system
6. Make the welfare programs better so that indigent people with HIV can access quality health care and continue their healthy lifestyles.
7. Companies need to be empowered to push for HMOs to include AIDS related conditions in their coverages
8. Strong dialogue with religious institutions about HIV and AIDS and condom use.
9. Strong promotion and encouragement of HIV testing and condom use in all sectors of society.
10. NGO's need to focus on what needs to be done and start clamoring for aggressive programs from government, business sector and institutions.

Since TRR started in 2011, it has experienced the rapid increase of HIV cases and AIDS related deaths (accounted and unaccounted). Four years and we are still addressing the same issues. When will we learn? When will we start to be aggressive with our programs to stop the epidemic. When are we going to rally STRONGLY against HIV and AIDS?

The call to action is NOW! We can still make the epidemic stop... 












     

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Road to Awareness


The Project Red Ribbon (TRR) will be inaugurating its newest project for this year, the Road to Awareness: an Open Discussion About HIV and Me. This is under the HIV Education and Awareness Talk program of TRR.

This is a Metro Manila wide HIV Awareness Caravan for universities, colleges and schools; companies, organizations and communities. The project includes an HIV talk, Testimonials from guest people living with HIV, condom and lubricant distribution; and HIV flyer distribution.

How can you participate?

1. Coordinate with your school, organization, company, barangay
2. Give us a schedule, venue and number participants for the talk
3. This is FREE. However, we ask as counterpart donations for the Love Fund.

For more details, please contact the TRR Hotline numbers below or email us at contact@projectredribbon.org.

May we all be partners in this great endeavor.

Thank you.








QUESTIONS ABOUT HIV AND AIDS?
WANT TO GET TESTED?
CALL US!

TRR HIV Hotline Numbers 


0919-642-9286
0977-131-2046
0906-389-2402
 0917-899-0473
0927-823-0300 
0917-932-3122
0916-216-2066

If you want to join a private HIV support group in Facebook, please add me, Pozzie Pinoy and request to be added in the group. We have a lot of PLHIV, counselors, HIV doctors, advocates and supporters who you can talk to.

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


Stay healthy,
Pozziepinoy

"We act FAST when we CARE"

-Pozziepinoy-



Want to be ASSISTED for the HIV TEST?? 
Check this link:


If you have comments or questions, please click this link:





© Copyright. All Rights Reserved by Pozziepinoy 2012

Credits: 














Confused

Dear Pozzie,

I am not good in writing in English Language, so please pardon me. Yes, as stated on the subject above, for me, it's like that everyday is like living with one foot in the grave.

It was end of May this year when notice that I am having a different symptoms of having an HIV. Mouth Ulcer are so frequent, then the rushes. I quickly open the browser and search for any images like what I have and yes, it's one of the symptoms of having an HIV.

I got paranoid all days and night. I can't sleep and I can't focus on my work. I've feel itchiness brought to my by the rushes. Until I decided to be tested for HIV. It was my first time ever to be checked. It's June 20, 2015, I got tested for HIV and unfortunately, it was reactive.

With the recommendation provided to me by the satellite clinic, I've proceed to the treatment hub in RITM Alabang to undergo at my baseline test (June 30, 2015).

It turned out that my CD4 is 292. I asked the doctor everything that I need to ask and it was grateful that Dr. Garcia answered back to me very indiscriminately and fatherly.

I started my Lamizido now and Nevi, yet until now, I'm still alone, feeling depressed and I don't know...

XXX

POZZIEPINOY’S RESPONSE

Hi XXX,

Thank you for your email. Thank you for finding the blog and reading it. I really hope that you can find health tips for you to use in your daily life. 

Like most of us who have HIV, the first chapter of the "journey" is hard.

QUESTIONS ABOUT HIV AND AIDS?
WANT TO GET TESTED?
CALL US!

TRR HIV Hotline Numbers 


0919-642-9286
0977-131-2046
0906-389-2402
 0917-899-0473
0927-823-0300 
0917-932-3122
0916-216-2066

If you want to join a private HIV support group in Facebook, please add me, Pozzie Pinoy and request to be added in the group. We have a lot of PLHIV, counselors, HIV doctors, advocates and supporters who you can talk to.

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


Stay healthy,
Pozziepinoy




QUESTIONS ABOUT HIV AND AIDS?
WANT TO GET TESTED?
CALL US!

TRR HIV Hotline Numbers 


0919-642-9286
0977-131-2046
0906-389-2402
 0917-899-0473
0927-823-0300 
0917-932-3122

0916-216-2066




"We act FAST when we CARE"
-Pozziepinoy-



Want to be ASSISTED for the HIV TEST?? 
Check this link:


If you have comments or questions, please click this link:





© Copyright. All Rights Reserved by Pozziepinoy 2012

Credits: 



Sunday, July 19, 2015

To Win a War, You Have to Start One

To Win a War You Have To Start One
A Stage Play Review of the Necessary Theatre’s The Normal Heart


Jam-packed with socio-political underpinnings of gay dynamism in New York during the early 1980s, “The Normal Heart” highlighted the pressing issues bombarding the gay community particularly the male homosexual population which are still observable in the current times.

Produced by Actor’s Actors’ The Necessary Theatre, the stage play was bodily lifted from the original autobiographical play by Larry Kramer, an American playwright, author, public health advocate, and LGBT activist. Kramer was able to witness first-hand the spread of the disease later known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) among his friends, thus the inspiration for the stage play itself. The play was also adapted into an HBO TV movie directed by Ryan Murphy and starred Mark Ruffalo who played the role of Ned Week and Matt Bomer as Felix Turner, Weeks’ love interest.


Topnotch theater actor Bart Guingona, who also directs the play, essayed the role of the very intense activist Ned Weeks who is both difficult and charming. Richard Cunanan took on the role of Ben Weeks — Ned’s brother, a lawyer, conservative, successful, tolerant of gays, loves his brother. Topper Fabregas played the role of Felix, a closeted, attractive, NY Times reporter. TV personality TJ Trinidad played the role of Bruce, a very handsome, charismatic, closeted All-American banker, elected to lead the organization. Also in the cast were Roselyn Perez, Red Concepcion, Nor Domingo and Jef Flores.


The story revolved around the character of Ned Weeks, a gay activist who struggled to pool resources and mobilize an organization to heave awareness about the fact that an unknown disease is killing off an incongruously unambiguous crowd: gay men mainly in New York City. Various external and internal factors were at play and served as hindrances for him to push further his advocacy. First was the government’s inadequate (or lack of) response regarding the issue; local authorities, particularly the mayor, just turned a deaf ear to the cries for help. Second was the double-edged sword social stigma against gay men that existed during those times. His character mirrored the immense push of advocates today to better address the issues enveloping HIV/AIDS such as government budget allocation, lack of education and information dissemination, research constraints, the public shame against the LGBT community, and a whole lot more.

Towards the end of the theater play, statistics and facts about HIV/AIDS condition in the Philippines were flashed on the backdrop. Putting those side by side with the storyline of the play, one can clearly say that New York 1980s is like Philippines 2015. The personal conflicts of the characters echoed the daily struggles of PLHIVs in the Philippines today. Kramer’s words are so powerful and emotionally charged that it would take exceptional actors to give them justice. This cast is more than up to the task. Standouts were Roselyn Perez, who played the role of the wheelchair-bound Dr. Brookner, whose delivery of an ardent speech paling against the rejection of the US government to fund her research into the disease is astounding in its intensity, and Domingo as Mickey, who also gets a pay heed moment of his own as he breaks down amidst the pressure of volunteering for the organization and keeping his job with the city government.

More than the emotional attack that was greatly showcased during the play, the message of the lines and the script served as a wakeup call to everyone: “HIV/AIDS is everybody’s concern.” How many Felix has to die? I guess all of us would say: none. We should all strive to unleash the hidden Ned Weeks in us: fearless, objective, and militant; quoting him, “That's how I want to be remembered: as one of the men who won the war.”




Saturday, July 18, 2015

To Win a War You Have To Start One

To Win a War You Have To Start One
A Stage Play Review of the Necessary Theatre’s The Normal Heart
by: Carlisle Saldana




Jam-packed with socio-political underpinnings of gay dynamism in New York during the early 1980s, “The Normal Heart” highlighted the pressing issues bombarding the gay community particularly the male homosexual population which are still observable in the current times.

Produced by Actor’s Actors’ The Necessary Theatre, the stage play was bodily lifted from the original autobiographical play by Larry Kramer, an American playwright, author, public health advocate, and LGBT activist. Kramer was able to witness first-hand the spread of the disease later known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) among his friends, thus the inspiration for the stage play itself. The play was also adapted into an HBO TV movie directed by Ryan Murphy and starred Mark Ruffalo who played the role of Ned Week and Matt Bomer as Felix Turner, Weeks’ love interest.

Topnotch theater actor Bart Guingona, who also directs the play, essayed the role of the very intense activist Ned Weeks who is both difficult and charming. Richard Cunanan took on the role of Ben Weeks — Ned’s brother, a lawyer, conservative, successful, tolerant of gays, loves his brother. Topper Fabregas played the role of Felix, a closeted, attractive, NY Times reporter. TV personality TJ Trinidad played the role of Bruce, a very handsome, charismatic, closeted All-American banker, elected to lead the organization. Also in the cast were Roselyn Perez, Red Concepcion, Nor Domingo and Jef Flores.

The story revolved around the character of Ned Weeks, a gay activist who struggled to pool resources and mobilize an organization to heave awareness about the fact that an unknown disease is killing off an incongruously unambiguous crowd: gay men mainly in New York City. Various external and internal factors were at play and served as hindrances for him to push further his advocacy. First was the government’s inadequate (or lack of) response regarding the issue; local authorities, particularly the mayor, just turned a deaf ear to the cries for help. Second was the double-edged sword social stigma against gay men that existed during those times. His character mirrored the immense push of advocates today to better address the issues enveloping HIV/AIDS such as government budget allocation, lack of education and information dissemination, research constraints, the public shame against the LGBT community, and a whole lot more.

Towards the end of the theater play, statistics and facts about HIV/AIDS condition in the Philippines were flashed on the backdrop. Putting those side by side with the storyline of the play, one can clearly say that New York 1980s is like Philippines 2015. The personal conflicts of the characters echoed the daily struggles of PLHIVs in the Philippines today. Kramer’s words are so powerful and emotionally charged that it would take exceptional actors to give them justice. This cast is more than up to the task. 

Standouts were Roselyn Perez, who played the role of the wheelchair-bound Dr. Brookner, whose delivery of an ardent speech paling against the rejection of the US government to fund her research into the disease is astounding in its intensity, and Domingo as Mickey, who also gets a pay heed moment of his own as he breaks down amidst the pressure of volunteering for the organization and keeping his job with the city government.


More than the emotional attack that was greatly showcased during the play, the message of the lines and the script served as a wakeup call to everyone: “HIV/AIDS is everybody’s concern.” How many Felix has to die? I guess all of us would say: none. We should all strive to unleash the hidden Ned Weeks in us: fearless, objective, and militant; quoting him, “That's how I want to be remembered: as one of the men who won the war.”

Friday, July 17, 2015

It's OK


Bound by each other's arms, as we formed a circle, tears started flowing from "Sandra's" eyes and dripped on to the floor while we were lead to a prayer of healing. I tried to hold back the tears as I was facilitating the TRR Family Support Group (SGT). Afterwards she started to burst, and said "I knew it! I knew that's his disease... I knew that he is gay but he should have told us this (HIV)! The doctor's said that we all should be ready now..."

When it comes to HIV and AIDS, the family, most of the time, is the last to know. More heartbreaking when the person is already unconscious as opportunistic infections caused by his weakened immune system continue to batter his weak body. The family, confused, though with an inkling of what's going on, continues to hope for the better however though looks for guidance and understanding as to why things are happening. Standing on unknown territory, family members start to question everything. "Why did this happen? Why did you hide it from us?" 


In the shadows

In the shadows by Red Papercut

Carefree is not careless

“No limits,” He used to say whenever people asked him how I lived his life. His name is Mark and this is his story.

He was a 30 year-old bachelor with no particular career issues or plans. He wakes up, go to work, meet some friends and go home to his dormitory room to sleep and the cycle repeats the very next day. The only days he had for himself were weekends. Saturday was his private time and Sunday was spent going home to his parent’s house in Rizal province.

A Bachelor's life

He was impulsive yet tactful. Always thinking what he should do next. But when it comes to sex, he never thinks twice. He said he wasn’t the type who would settle down with a partner though he never dismissed the idea of having a family of his own. And so he never held back his lust and simply indulged whenever he likes the girl or the guy. He was a stocky, furry bear type and would go for any type of guy as long as the feeling is mutual. He said when it comes to girls, he was very picky. But it was different when it comes to guys especially when gay social media and apps started to popularize in 2011.

And that was how we met. He was a very nice and gentle guy at first but once you get to know him, he’s funny and quite flirty. At first he never mentioned about sex or going anywhere private but once or twice after we first met, perhaps he was no longer able to restrain himself; he then asked me if we could do it. And that night we spent it like there was no tomorrow. He said he’s really careful when it comes to sex that’s why he always use condoms whichever his role would be, “nag-iingat lang,” as he would always say. He always had a box of condoms and a huge bottle of diluted lubricant. He said it was a necessity for a horny bachelor like him. I let him do as he pleased. It was safe after all.

But then months went by and our encounters became wilder and wilder and we no longer do it just the two of us. There would be a third wheel or even another pair of guys to swap with. And there were times I no longer need to do anything as I watched him indulge in his worldly pleasures. There are times that he runs out of condoms because his sexual encounters were becoming more and more frequent than the usual, or perhaps he was getting addicted to sex. I got scared for him and for myself so I lay low for a while. Until we no longer get to talk to each other that much.

And then...

Year 2012 came and we finally got to have a little get-together in his dorm and he told me he met a guy and they’re in this rather complicated relationship. He said he no longer meets other guys. But his boyfriend is still suspicious of him that the guy would hack into his Facebook account and check messages. His boyfriend was even able to get numbers from his phone and contact unfamiliar names such as mine. I wasn’t able to help him until summer of 2012. His boyfriend called me up saying that my friend Mark is cheating on him. Of course knowing the story I ignored it. But what alarmed me was the next series of messages from him saying that he got diagnosed HIV positive and Mark was the only person who he had unprotected sex.

Worried, I contacted Mark and he admitted to me that it was true. And apparently he too was HIV positive and advised me to get tested as well. After that contact, I did not hear anything from him until the next year. 

A New Life

Monsoon season of 2013 and I was already in the HIV advocacy when I remembered and reached out to him. We were able to talk via Facebook and he said he was doing fine and was under Anti-Retroviral Therapy. He said his life was practically back to normal except for that fact that he no longer does his “private parties” in his dorm. He said he moved out to a much closer place to his work. Though I was relieved that he was doing a great job coping up with his condition, I could sense a heavy heart in him despite being able to fight on.  I was no longer able to contact him since his alleged boyfriend of his still hacks into his account and still acted like a mad watchdog over his boyfriend. I do feel sorry for him for what happened. I think he was just trying to find someone who will have fun and accept him for who he was. But fate was not in his favor. 

But with proper adherence to ARVs, and a healthy lifestyle, I know he could do it. The only thing that bothers me is the fact that his boyfriend is telling anyone about Mark’s status which should not be. 

Under Republic Act 8504, PLHIV’s status should be treated with utmost confidentiality and no one, not even his/her doctors are allowed to disclose HIV status but the patient himself/herself and violating this are punishable by civil law.

I wish his story will serve as a warning to people who are living their lives to the fullest in a very disturbing way. There’s nothing wrong with having sex. Casual sex is fine as long as you take care of yourself. So get tested and educate yourself.

Life is important. Love it. Nurture it. Value it.



Disclaimer: The names and some details in the story were deliberately changed to protect the identity of the people involved as well as to maintain confidentiality of this case.





QUESTIONS ABOUT HIV AND AIDS?
WANT TO GET TESTED?
CALL US!

TRR HIV Hotline Numbers 


0919-642-9286
0977-131-2046
0906-389-2402
 0917-899-0473
0927-823-0300 
0917-932-3122
0916-216-2066


If you want to join a private HIV support group in Facebook, please add me, Pozzie Pinoy and request to be added in the group. We have a lot of PLHIV, counselors, HIV doctors, advocates and supporters who you can talk to.







"We act FAST when we CARE"

-Pozziepinoy-



Want to be ASSISTED for the HIV TEST?? 
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