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Dear Kuya Migs,

I am sitting at our boarding house’s roof. I wanted to take a breather from all the noise down below so that I can think about what to write and how to expose my greatest fear and ask for your advice.

I have been an avid reader of your blog, back then it was dominated by letters from people like us who are confused about something or when they need reassurance that it is okay for us to live this kind of life. I too was like them for the most part. I didn’t have any peers I could talk matters like these with, I don’t have that many friends who chose the same path as I did and most of all I hadn’t been totally true to myself. I would like to tell you how much it means to me that you and your blog exist. I could have gone blind forever, unmindful and ignorant of the things I should be aware of. You were clearly a “kuya” to me. I might never have the chance to meet you but still I know you are family.

Lately I haven’t been able to dream. I can’t seem to look at the future. I believe in living in the present, though I sometimes dwell on the past but I was never a visionary of the future up until when I realized how much it would help me to straighten myself up if I look forward to something that hasn’t been realized yet.

To say that I dream to be a journalist or a writer would be an understatement, I want to become one. To be one that is honed and almost perfected, to write to express not impress has always been the rule I have followed or at least tried my best to abide to. This semester I am on my third year, and knowing what I want to be when I finally graduate I’m sure you can make a guess on the course I am taking up.

So here is what hinders me from totally realizing my dream. I am scared to be HIV positive. I sort of engaged on this stuff when I had the word teen attached on my age. It sort of became a routine when I was at my senior year in high school. Now I am 19, and am trying to straighten up and make the most of this last teen year, but this feeling of unease due to being aware that such a disease is not just something that people older than me are vulnerable to I started to become scared. By then stories of young men falling to the ground like mosquitos like what you said started to surface and I tried to deny it to myself that I am at risk too. I felt that I should do some research about it, its signs and symptoms, and I tried to evaluate myself if I have experienced those things, and I really am scared. I’m not sure yet but still the thought of having a death sentence was way too much for me, just when I started to worry about my future, just when I started to dream big for myself and for my family and just when I found the reason to live.

I want to get myself tested, so that I may be able to know my fate but I don’t have someone to accompany me to a place where I can get tested. Most of you guys from MGGFF are from Manila, and I’m here in the city where the Duterte’s govern. I’m also scared that if I get tested people would know my classmates, my teachers, and the school I am in. I’m not the type of person who wants to drag others in my demise; I just want to know so that if and if I fall in love with someone I can avoid him and not exposing him to the risk of being infected.

I want to know so that I could slowly start saying my goodbyes, make the most of the years left, reach for my dreams so that the only regret in my life would be not being careful, being too naïve and being weak in the face of temptation.

I want to ask God to spare me from that damned virus but I’m scared to tell Him that. I am not worthy to ask such from the Divine Being who gave me life. I wasted it. So I ask from you to tell me what I should do. I want to know so badly, I want to get this weight of my chest and I want to make up for the mistakes I have done to my family. Help me kuya Migs and oh . . .

my name is K.

* * *

Dear K,

Comments (2)

  1. en said on 30-06-2017

    Dear k.
    When i was your age, same fear tayo. This blog helped me na maging aware and maging educated sa mga bagay especially about gay lifestyle and HIV awareness. Totoo naman na nakakatakot ang virus pero wag kang mainis. May resistance ka dahil di ka pa ganun ka educated. Equipped yourself with information. It will helped you na mas maintindihan at mawala ang takot. I am not saying na ok magkaroon pero pag aware ka mas confident ka na di mo sya maaquire or mapeprevent mo yung risk. I had my first test last yr and I’m 26 yrs old. Malakinh relief pag nagpatest ka and religiously mo na sya gagawin. Isipin mo na lang na mas mabuti ng alam mo kung anung status mo para mas alam mo kung anung action kelngan mong gawin. habang mas pinapatagal mo ang araw at oras na kakaisip at di ngpapatest mas lalo ka lang mahihirapan.

  2. Karl said on 24-05-2017

    You should go tested at the Reproductive Health and Wellness Center if you’re in Davao City (https://m.facebook.com/RHWCDavao/). It’s free and the people there are very professional and friendly. I’ve been there more than 5 times. It’s near from AdDU college, and I even go there wearing my school uniform during my vacant time. It may be very uncomfortable at first, as most people who go there are pink card holders, but it’s a nice and cozy place. It’s also a good thing I’m negative.

    I usually ignore social stigma. It’s better to know your status than living every moment of my life fearing if I have HIV or not.

    Have courage and good luck.

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