It is my privilege and honor to communicate with you. I must admit I am one of your avid fan, hindi matatapos ang buong araw na hindi ko binibisita ang site mo to check if you have new entries. Let me introduce myself first I’m Carlo (that’s my alias) I’m 30 years old, 5’11 tall, mestizo and I can say I’m still in the closet. I’m a businessman here in my province. I knew I was gay since I was in high school but I tried to ignore it by courting and having relationships with girls but it was not easy. I realized that during college days although I still act straight. After college graduation, I worked first in a call center in Manila and from there I had countless sexual encounters di ko na talaga mabilang, I lost track. After a few years I decided to go back to our province and put up my own business. Anyway fast forward…
Migs, I am HIV Positive.
It was January 12, 2007 when my ex-bf (a medtech) told me to undergo test for std just to make sure that we’re both safe. Sabi ko hindi ko na kelangan kasi I’m healthy and di naman ako nagkakasakit or wala naman ako nararamdaman. But still he said mas magaling na sigurado. So I went to the hospital, sya naka duty that time ipinakilala nya ko sa mga kasama nya as barkada then he extracted blood and told me to pay sa cashier. Sabi nya balik daw ako after lunch so that I can get the result. After lunch I texted him to ask the result sabi nya ok naman daw wala naman daw problema. Magkita daw kami after his work, sabi ko ok no problem sunduin ko na lang sya.
I fetched him sa hospital after his duty then he said let’s go to church. Sabi ko, why? Hindi sya umiimik. I decided na pagbigyan sya then when we arrived sa church he said na mag-park muna ko. Then when I already parked my car he started to cry, I asked him, why? Ano problema? Sabi nya ako… I asked him what about me? Sabi ko you should be happy I’m STD-FREE. Sabi nya yun nga daw problema, he tried to test my blood sa HIV and nag-positive daw sya TWICE. At that time parang nabingi ako and nawala sa sarili I was totally in shocked. I was asking myself paano mangyayari yon eh pang prostitute lang ang HIV, pang Africa lang, or yet pang mahirap — hindi ako puwede mahawa nito. He explained that walang nakakaalam sa hospital kundi sya lang kasi sya lang ang nagtest at labag daw yon sa protocol nila kaya in-assure nya ko that NO ONE KNOWS about my test.
I was disoriented I asked him what shall I do. Luckily when he was still studying na assign pala sya sa San Lazaro and dun nya nalaman na yun pala ang central office ng HIV sa Pinas and the protocol pag nalaman na isang tao ay HIV POSITIVE. That night hindi ko makayanan ang problema in the middle of the night I went to my parents’ room and knocked at their door. When they opened they told me kung ano problema. My voice was cracking I told them that I think I’m sick. Sabi nila bakit ko daw nasabi yon? Then I told them that I got tested kasi niyaya ako ng barkada ko di ko sinabi na bf ko yung nagsama sa kin. I told them the result and they two cannot believed it. Sabi nila paano ko daw nakuha yon. Sabi ko hindi ko alam. Sabi ko baka sa mga babae na naka-sex ko sa Manila. They cried I know they were hurting that time. I saw my dad and my mom crying hindi ko makayanan and habang buhay kong dadalhin yung oras na yon. Halos magpaalam na ko sa kanila because I thought I was going to die in a matter of days, weeks or months. They assured me na hindi nila ako pababayaan at gagawin nila ang lahat. I asked them na wag sasabihin kahit kanino kahit na sa mga kapatid ko. They kept their promise. There are times na yayakapin na lang nila ako, assuring me that everything will be alright.
We decided to seek help sa San Lazaro it was the longest 3 weeks of my life. Until dineliver sa kin ng doctor na I am positive. It’s been 3 years already ang dami na nag daan ang dami ko na na experience alam na ng iba kong kapatid about my situation and they are quiet about it. I am already taking ARV meds bumaba kasi before yung CD4 ko but now I’m healthy. I’m living a healthy lifestyle. I hope I can help other people. I hope I can help Mr. Ex-Blogger. By the way, friend ko din pala si Chronicles of E. Ako din pala nagsama sa kanya sa SAN LAZARO at RITM to test at ayun, positive din pala sya. At least siguro ito na yung calling ko. Eto siguro ang gusto ni God kaya nya ko binigyan ng gift of carrying HIV so that I can help other people to understand. Migs, if it’s not too much kindly give my email address to Mcvie and Mr. Ex-Blogger or kung kahit kanino who is seeking help and awareness about HIV. I want to be of help.
Thank you very much!
PS: I also attached my confirmatory letter [posted as image above]. Eto yung result ng test ko sa San Lazaro confirming that I have HIV. I’m positive for both HIV1 and HIV2 ganyan ako ka swerte wala talaga akong ligtas sa HIV at parehong strand nasa akin. Most of the people diagnosed with HIV it’s either HIV1 or HIV2 lang, seldom yung both.
You are a shining beacon of strength and resilience. Your story inspires. I feel that after reading your letter, my heart has grown tenfold, able to embrace, not just accept, enjoy, not just endure, more people and more life possibilities. I honor you and your renewed purpose.