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The Chemistry of everyday life, an HIV blogger. Twitter: @tcghiv | Email: tetrahydroziline@gmail.com

Dead End Conversation

It was lunch time, mom and I were watching an lunch time TV news program and  the topic was about children stuff... For your information, I'm the only child of the family.


Mom suddenly uttered...


MOM: magampon kaya tayo ng bata para masaya naman dito sa bahay? (why don't we adopt a child?)


ME: ...... nom! nom! nom!


Plain and simple. Read between the lines.

The One That Got Away


Inspired by Katy Perry's newly released song - The One That Got Away.


Yeah, I love Katy Perry so deal with. Lyrics are so strong, about a lost chance on love. And I'm telling this because I can relate to it.
Let's call him guy M, M for a name widely used by boys.
We've met online and had a very long conversation over the virtual means. This was like 3 years ago, so I was like 22 years old and he was 25 or 26. I was an engineering student and he's a financial analyst, a graduate of accountancy.
The moment we met was an instant click, he's just an average looking guy but full of logical and intellectual mind. We clicked together in a sense of there was no dull moment and had continuous conversation. We have a lot of similarities back then, like tech things, games and other stuff.
It was surreal. He's smart, I can feel his responsible and all the good traits a guy can have.


The dating went on and to our enjoyment we didn't notice that we were going for like 4 months. He proposed under the fireworks and wanted something on the next level, more than what we have. I declined. I want to enjoy our current relationship. And perhaps I haven't moved on from my 1st ex. 


Despite this we still continued our exclusive dating and until the 8 month, I decided to end everything.
I know and felt how hard was this for him, as he felt he was cheated and used. I felt sorry and that instance I stood by my decision. Maybe I was fed up of everything we do. Naumay at nagsawa.
He was bitter.
Now, being more mature than before concluded why I made the decision - I was superficial. I was so superficial that I can't even appreciate what he did.
Now, I feel a big regret why I stood by my decision to let go and end everything.
The last thing I heard of him is he's now working for a Telco company, still a financial analyst. This used to be 2 buildings away from my office. In fact, I always see him every 5pm. He looks better now and I can see that he's happy.
With those happiness I see from him is a total opposite of what I feel. Regret. I have no one to blame but myself.
Every time I see him, It brings back the good memories of us being together. He used to accompany me to my house every time we go out, those cadbury chocolates he gave me, those playstation games we used to play. He was the who opened my thoughts on travelling and no matter how I hate it being given with flowers on Valentine's Day, he still gave me dozens of roses.
After years of no communication, we had the chance to talk. Of course, I don't expect that it will happen again but instead I disclosed my sero status with him. After that, connection was cut. The only chance I get to see him is when he goes home by 5pm. Looking at the far the side of the building, that's the best way I can take a look of him. 
Now I am paying the price, the regret and guilt of what I did.


All these money can't buy me a time machine
Can't replace you with a million rings
I should have told you what you meant to me
Cause now I pay the price


A guy I won't forget. A guy I will no longer meet.
If I should have said yes, perhaps this wouldn't happen.

My current health status



As of November 2011, my current sero/health status:


CD4 count: 608 units - from 610 units of December 2010


Viral load: 86 units - from 111,000+ units of initial Treatment Hub enrollment (2010),
after more than a year of taking EFV, still not undetectable. But there's a drastic change, a sign of NO VIROLOGIC FAILURE


Hemoglobin count: 176 units - as per RITM's CBC vs 124 units of company APE's CBC, so RITM told me am not Anemic contrary to what was previously diagnosed. 


Cholesterol/Triglyceride level: Borderline high, as per Makati Medical Center's Blood Chemistry Test, this is an obvious side effect of my ARV's.


Hepatitis A/B/C: Non - reactive


Pulmunary XRAY: normal


AFB smear and culture: no AFB seen


TB culture sensitivity: No growth seen for 6 weeks, via MMC's TB BACTEC MGIT test


Cryptococcal Antigen Latex Agglutination test: Negative, as per RITM since 2010

Unbeatable

I'm so sick and tired of meeting hypocrite guys whom I get to chat online - well, the most.

They not just put their best forward but they actually transform to another stereotype acting to be a good white and tamed sheep.

I must admit, am no perfect but what I wanna point out is how true and honest I am to people. 

Very rare that this is reciprocated, most of the time it's the other way around. 

The most overrated statement I heard recently is - "you know, am not really into sex and those stuff, I'm a good boy and I don't want to infect others bla bla bla.." Then you'll see him grabbing his phone checking Grindr. This is so humiliating.

Thank god I have an eagle eye, reliable senses and can easily see stuff under the table. No matter how they hide it, I can still see details of it..

Oh well, maybe it's time to change.. Be no good guy anymore. I can't beat them so perhaps I'll be joining then instead.

The Gamer

Contrary to you know, I'm a techie-inclined kind of guy.. particularly into gaming (console and arcades like Timezone). Ever since I was a kid I love playing console games. My first gaming console was the Family Computer, I remember those 30-in-1 cartridges that makes my childhood days... from Super Mario to Kung Fu and Load Runner. I admit, I never finished Super Mario I really suck that time and my gaming tactics were not that honed... I suck.


Years after, there's this neighbor of ours who had a Sega Mega Drive, being envious of it I persistently asked my dad to buy me one. This was also the time that my first console got busted - know how difficult the control ergonomics Family Computer which burns your in-betweens of your fingers?




I finally got my Sega MD from dad as a birthday gift, one of the best gifts I got up to date... Yes it is, this console flew my tech mind off the hood... Unlike the my first console, Cartridges and games of Sega Saturn was really expensive... Family Computer's games at 100 pesos or so compared to Sega MD's 700 pesos to 1500 pesos. This was already a big deal during the 90's. I only got 3 games but I liked them a lot. There were Mortal Kombat, Dragon Ball Z and Stargate. I still remember how I got Dragon Ball, it was a surprise gift from my dad and I remember that day when he handed it over... Ah, memories. Couple of years later, my second console got busted. :(


It took me quite some time to get another one. There comes Playstation 1. My dad died so practically there's no one to buy me this. My mom won't buy me since it was expensive at 10,000 pesos. I was crying like a baby. To set things straight, mom doesn't spoil me with anything I want. After my dad passed away, it's like our financial status was on a tight bottle neck. 

Chance upon that there was a newly computer shop across the street and offering PS1 at 30 pesos per hour.. good enough.  It took several years for this console to be over rated... games were a lot better than the other 2 that I had. I said to myself, I'm gonna save and buy my own soon...


That soon took forever and I wasn't able to buy and the console was replace by Playstation 2. I was excited that time  and had a change of plan of buying this instead of the PS1. It was the fat version of PS2 at a whooping price of 17,000 pesos. Years have passed and already working, a slim version came out. Chances were great as it was December, just got my 13th month pay and finally decided to reward myself with something I always wanted. Bought a unit together with my ex - oh memories again, and enjoyed staying at home. 


I went into hiatus as I was busy with work and my newly found hobby - photography. I no longer have my 3rd console. New Playstation 3 came -  a fat version. Games are expensive to the nth power at 900 to 3000 pesos the most as it uses blu-ray disc. Patience was a bit of my virtue since I know they will release another slim version of it just like what they did with PS1, and so they did... PS3 slim. I haven't got this but am planning to buy one as gift for myself. I know it's too late, but i still want this. I'm so damn excited to be a kid again. These are the best memories of my childhood and I don't want it to fade out.


Next up, my favorite games.




Bucket List

A couple of my bucket list, some maybe too idealistic but I just wanted to add it.. 

1. Visit Batanes group of Islands.
2. Have my own bachelor's pad - either a loft condo unit with elegant interior design.
3. Learn how to swim.
4. European tour - Russia, Germany, Scandinavian countries.
5. A BMW or Audi car.
6. Become a manager.
7. Watch a concert.
8. Trek the Great Wall of China.
9. Be drunk like Kesha.
10. Meet someone who can bury me when am dead.

Uneven


Too many people have noticed my drastic weight change.. When friends see me for the longest time, they always say how skinny I am.. Well, I'm not that skinny-bulemic.

Maybe they were comparing my weight and physique now than that of last year.. Yes, even I can now see my body built change.

My mom also noticed this, she was like worried why am I getting thinner as months go by.. Perhaps this is what another side effect of the medicines I take - lipodystrophy. Unwanted body fat redistribution.

My extremities, such as legs and arms are now getting like a girl's tone. Am not a girl, so this doesn't look good. It might be good if my tummy's fat is also fading... But not.

So I've come to a decision to enroll myself to a gym. It's like hitting 2 birds with 1 stone. First, to regulate my fat distribution and a healthy lifestyle. Second, aesthetic purposes. Lol

When I was in elementary and high school, I was so fat like the kid from the movie Up, center of bully and teasing I was like the obese kid in town. I was then trimmed down during late high school and early college, my waist was from 36 down to 32. I was really thankful my body was trimmed down, but I think not to this extent.

So maybe this will be an excellent time to get in shape.. If my willingness permits me.

This might materialize towards the end of the year or early next year. This was already a plan created several years ago but due to my procrastination... It never happened.

Looking forward to this physical change.

Globe Trotter Teenage Dream

What will you do if someone seems to giving his best foot forward in an exaggerated way?

I'm a detailed type of person so when someone said this and that even when said online, I can remember every detail of it.

Met this guy over online and we were chatting over phone endlessly. Talked about the past and the usual get to know. We decided to meet over the weekend to get along.

Before parting ways, we had some talk over coffee knowing each other more.

As the talk goes a long way, I can now feel some inconsistencies and this instinct that what ever comes out of his mouth is no longer genuine. It was like sensational.

One instance was when he was talking about his ex, they were like chasing each other at different parts of the globe. Like what JLO said on her song - Brazil, Morocco, London to Ibiza, straight to LA, New York, Vegas to Africa.

Hmmm, I don't know if I were to believe but what matters most is how surreal you are saying. Of course, let's give the benefit of the doubt...

After we met and parted ways, we no longer have communication. Maybe he's superficial too.. I really don't know.

Defective concentration

I think am now experiencing another adverse effect of Efavirenz and we're talking about long term... Impaired concentration.

Recently, I had an exam and interview from a company I really wanna get in. The usual steps of online exam and initial interview were set.

There were 2 sets of online exams, one was to gauge knowledge of several software and second was to test ability to differentiate words, computations and information gathering.

Exams were easy as long as you have background and hands on experience. I have and they were just like lessons from college, the thing was I was my mind was like flying through the fields and being blank all over... Of course these exams were time pressured!

I am confident I aced the 2nd part since I love Math, analogy and scientific calculations. But 1st part was a bit disastrous since that was the peak of my impaired mind.

Interview went well too but with some mishaps. I now stutter and can no longer anticipate the next english word to come out of my mouth. It just happened now, after a year of taking EFV.

I'll no longer expect something from that company, but of course little hope that they might call again for a positive result.

Oh man, I can't blame my life saving meds...

Divine Teenage Dream

To make it clear, Teenage Dream is like a date.. just like how Katy Perry sang the song. Ok? This is the 2nd time I mentioned Teenage Dream, so get used to it moving forward. :)


First series of my dating experience or to make it subtle - meeting experience.

I met this guy over Planetromeo through my poz account. He messaged me and instantly asked to meet. Of course I don't easily trust people over the said site especially if my profile is blatant of my sero status. I asked for evidence to prove whether he is really one - he provided none.

So I was really doubtful of this guy. But his persistence made me talk to him more. We exchanged photos using Facebook and he looks good. Tall, chinito and with a good body - ok, maybe this is another superficial guy.

Still doubtful, he was really that persistent to have a meet and greet. Chasing a free weekend, it was hilarious that I was the one who asked him to meet. He said yes and he was the one who decided for the place of meet up - his pad.

What I saw was what I got.

He admitted that he was into pnp and substance abuse. Inviting guys over his pad and do sex while enjoying drugs and there was an abrupt change from being so to a religious kind of person. He's now into the more side of faith.

When we talk about faith, god, end of the world, illuminati etc. It's a never ending cycle of talk., discussions and debates. And that's what we did. Every time we meet, there goes the never ending talk. Really stressful on both ends, we both argue endlessly.

One of his 'divine' mission was to change how I feel and spread his word from faith. That's quite a challenge for me. It's really annoying when someone is trying to change one's faith, we have our own and one should respect it.

In a nutshell, we didn't click. I liked him and he liked me but talking about faith and religion? Nah.

Oh well, I hope he's not hiding under the cloak of goodness to cover his dark acts of drug usage and pnp's. Am gonna bet that he's doing it again.

One lesson learned from him was - Always show kindness to others, and am thankful to that.

The 6-week test

Acute Bronchitis and paranoia lead me to have a TB test.

Tints of blood were seen through my sputum, so I hurriedly asked for a TB test. Two tests were done - AFB smear and TB culture and sensitivity.

AFB smear results came out 24 hours later and it was negative - both for 2 days of sputum sample.
Still coughing like a dog and blood tints the sink... Still paranoid of the golden standard of testing.

Tests were quite expensive at almost 8,000 pesos. Good thing I have an HMO to back me up.

Time flew and it was 6 weeks. Tests were done using TB BACTEC MGIT System which explains its expensiveness.

Results - NO GROWTH SEEN AFTER 6 weeks.

As expected. My respiratory ailment is gone.

On dating and beyond

Been into dates the past months - it didn't work well. Or should I say, I never worked out.

Eye opener:
Regardless if you're HIV free or acquired it, dating and relationships will still be dependent on you and the other party. 

I thought dating a comrade of the same sero-status will give an assurance that everything will work fine - It's not.

Scene 1:
Dating someone who's negative (assuming) is quite a challenge, all is well.. you act normal as if you don't have any condition, date for a couple of weeks or months, being attached emotionally, you confess your status, he (your date) was in shock, eventually he refused and now... you're depressed and rejected. 

Scene 2: 
You met a co-sero positive guy, decided to meet, dated for while, he doesn't like you or I don't like him and the dating stop. No communication after. Superficiality can come to anyone. 

Scene 3: 
You met a co-sero positive guy, date for a while, it went well, you like each other and voila! happily ever after.

Scene 4:
You met this negative guy (assuming), dated for a while, you like him and he likes you, you confess your sero-status, he chose to be with you (lucky you) and go happily ever after.

Experienced scene 2, two months in a row, and it might go to 3 peat. I'll make entries for each of them.

One liner

The hardest and depressing part of being HIV+ is not living with it ... it's keeping the secret.

I need elemental Iron

The results of our company annual physical examination was given.. I got a hit of GRADE B - meaning I am physically fit but with minor ailment... Anemia that is.


I know I will come to this point as this is an expected adverse effect of my ARV - combivir.



Result was below the normal standard of hemoglobin count. Maybe this is the reason why I always feel tired.



It's not really chronic as my hemoglobin count is just below required standards. As prescribed, I bought a 3-month supply of Ferrous Sulfate and will undergo the test after 2 or 3 months.



Oh well, not really that great.

Anniversary CD4

This was supposed to be July but due to uncontrollable weather disturbances, my acute bronchitis and some procrastination this was moved to September... Yes, two months after.

I decided to have it done on a Friday so I can be absent from work and go on a long weekend... which happened to be a boring one. 

I woke up at around 730am, prepared some stuff like my backpack, the disguising bottle of my ARV and the pertinent papers - PhilHeath papers and Makati Med lab results.

Fasting started 12 midnight prior to that morning so I was that hungry, I even opted not to brush my teeth - this will just make me hungrier. LOL

Arrived at RITM at like 830am and as advised, OPD and ARG clinic has been relocated to another location... I got lost, of course am no kiddo so I asked the Kuya and Ate Jaguars to lead the way.

In all fairness, the new office site is more conducive - bigger floor area, a bit separate from the animal bite section and smells like provincial breeze. So, OPD and ARG combined into a bigger room.

When I entered the room, came along a new face - perhaps this was the new nurse in replacement of Ate Ana : Ate Mameng. I heard some stories of her being bitchy or should I say grumpy or masungit to patients. Well, I tried to call her several days before my scheduled test and she sounded nice so no big deal about it.

It was my turn and she was preparing the test requests, I already know what tests should be done but as I scrutinized the request, I wasn't able to understand some handwriting and asked her what are those...

Unfortunately in a grumpy and masungit manner, she answered - "ano ka ba, buti nga libre na yan". Knowing me being a reactive person and adding my hungriness I uttered in a respectful but sarcastic manner - "Alam ko  po, gusto ko  lang malaman kung anong klaseng exams to para alam ko" She then explained everything in detail... still in a grumpy manner. 

Haay, alright... I'd try to widen my senses and understand, maybe she's no longer young and hormones are on the loose. but with all due respect.. I'm still thankful for her since she accepted the job of helping those in need.

Checking my peripheral vision, there was a guy smiling at me... I tried looking at him and to my surprise, he looked familiar. It took several minutes for my brain cells to work - I'm hungry, ok?. Hindi ko siya pinapansin and when I stared at him I said - "kilala kita!" He said the same thing. Ok, another small world instance not knowing a friend of yours is also sero-converted. Not a big issue.

Blood extraction was first in line and it took 4 vials of blood to complete the test. Still a lot! Time to get back to the new clinic and request for medicines, Ate Let and Victoria prepared the needed papers and sent me to the doctor on shift. Got my meds and Ate Mameng told that there was a free Hepatitis booster vaccine, I grabbed the opportunity so I took it. Till now, my shoulder is pain because of that. 



I was making tambay at the clinic and letting time pass by, I can feel Ate Mameng is starting to be friendly in a manner that she makes small talks. 

My intestinal walls can no longer hold the acids and my tummy started to make rumble so I decided to go home and perhaps buy some snacks on the way.

It was a tiring, hunger-full day. 

Four in the afternoon, I texted Ate Let for my cd4 results..

My new cd4 count as of September 09, 2011 = 608  

It went down by 2 points. From 282 to 610 to 608. I was expecting that it will reach like 800+ but to my dismay it went on a semi-plateau behavior. Just steady - whatever happened, I need to change my lifestyle again so next time it will be higher. Oh well, fluctuating numbers.  

Markovnikov

Was inspired by this - LINK

Gaya gaya lang. Here's my take on a different subject.
Organic Chemistry 1, I think that was a 2003 note. I don't write on notebooks, I use bond papers instead.




Mr False Teenage Dream

It was a normal weekend, I scheduled myself to see Dra. G of Makati Med for the nth because I saw a tint of blood on my sputum, out of panic and freak out am having thoughts of this might be the dreaded tuberculosis. Still confused of the symptoms since I don't experience any fevers, chills nor sudden weight loss. Before I meet the doctor there was this patient who so skinny, wearing mask, unhealthy skin and aura. Out of curiosity I tried to sneak what he's up to. My excellent 20-20 vision - can even see 8pt font size from meters away, saw his prescription paper saying Lamivudine + Zidovudine with Dra. G's familiar handwriting.. Ok, no need to ask.. He's positive to, I think he's just new to this world. 

I met Dra. G and hurriedly ask for another series of tests to confirm what's going on, she requested - AFB smear and PTB sensitivity and culture. I went to the Pathology lab and had day 1 of 2 of sptum collection, its not that easy to collect sputum and the whole test costs around 7.5 pesos. Quite expensive, good thing I have this medical insurance. 

Right after I finish my hospital obligations, an sms was received from this guy. Let's call him Mr. Teenage dream. Giving a brief background, we met through this gay social site. I did a photo shoot of him unaware that we already chatted. He's taller than I do - 6ft. 2 inches more than mine, I admit he's cute and sweet, have a great physique, and from that point in time I know he's a good guy --- a teenage dream. 

We decided to meet somewhere halfway between the hospital and his pad, took the cab and went to a nearby mall for a dinner and movie date. As expected, he was sweet during the movie screening, touching and holding my hand, doing some laughing matters and yada yada yada. I loosen up and stopped my stiffness and went to the flow. We dined somewhere and continued the sensible chit chat. We were smiling and laughing the whole night and it felt good. Maybe it was one the handful moments that you can see me smile. 

He's naughty and had this double entendre dialogues. Which I find it unusual, so am having this impression of he's just another guy from that gay social site. we went to his pad - which I also expected, a sex date. It's not new. Of course I had this doubt, I don't wanna be guilty of spreading my lifetime award. I set my mind not to do penetration and play it extra safe. The moment we went inside his pad, the action begins. I don't know if he's that horny, wants to sex with me, or excited of doing so or what. Shortly, he planned to penetrate me with his enormous tool - no rubber on it. My mind clicked and said no, don't do that I might bleed. But to his excitement he continues and insisted. I was bluffing it around that he made it, but not. I didn't allow him to enter.  He was so persistent and attempted to do it more than 6x or so. Of course I won't allow it. But all of a sudden he grabbed his poppers, I know what's that for - meant to relax your muscles especially your behind. He let me sniff two times, one with the other. It was my first time to try it and it was like sniffing acetone or a menthol candy. then he tried to enter again, the poppers seem ineffective and my consciousness was still alive, I insisted that it was already hurting and not to do it anymore.. His excitement was still on and grabbed the poppers again and we sniffed. My body was like immune to it and it got no effect. I stopped the action and went to the comfort room as I felt a stinging sensation. And yeah it was bleeding. I sat quietly like and felt anger. No penetration was made so I think everything is still fine. 

I was totally turned off. I just sat quietly and never spoke. I just wanna go home. It felt that I was forced with this. It was planned but I didn't expect this to happen. He was so apologetic. I quietly accepted it and after a couple hours, decided to go home.

With that couple of hours, it seemed nothing happened. I took the chance of observing his actions. He's just the same as others. That poppers alone already showed it. No need for rocket science. Still a good guy - best foot forward. Went home and now wondering what to do with this wound, it hurts but it's tolerable.

Am just sad why this thing happened to me, I know it was planned but never thought like this disastrous. Now he doesn't ring my phone. Who cares, maybe I won't see him again. He and his poppers. Gamitin na lang nya sa iba yun.

By the way, I got the AFB smear result: negative for acid fast bacilli, culture and sensitivity to follow - after 6 weeks.

Mental Check


Common depression symptoms include:

Feelings

    • Hopelessness and helplessness - CHECK• Unhappiness and loss of confidence - CHECK • Tension and anxiety - CHECK • Irritability, anger or fear - CHECK
Thoughts

    • Difficulty concentrating - CHECK• Difficulty making decisions - CHECK • Suicidal - ALMOST CHECK • Memory loss - CHECK • Major life changes - CHECK • Guilt, worthlessness or being unwanted - CHECK
Behaviors
    • Inability to enjoy normal things - CHECK• Slow reactions - CHECK • Irresponsible behavior - CHECK • Neglect of one's appearance - CHECK
Physical symptoms

    • Continual tiredness and easy tiring - CHECK• Sleeping problems eg. early waking - CHECK, TROUBLE SLEEPING • Eating problems eg. poor appetite, weight loss - CHECK • Headache, constipation or indigestion - CHECK • Loss of energy and sex drive - CHECK


Read more:http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/7-stages-of-depression.html#ixzz1UwAx2bvT



NOT BEING SENSATIONAL.

Underrated question

I met this poz guy over the internet. I was too aloof and doubtful answering his questions since I really don't trust anybody. Especially nowadays when this blog came out disclosing these allegedly HIV positive guys. They're like the most stupidest.. yes, "the MOST STUPIDEST' persons on Earth. Emphasis on that redundancy. They were like disclosing these guys, posting pictures and profiles telling don't engage with them since they are positive in an effort to reduce the sero-converted population. Well, just search for them and you'll be stunned to annoyance.

Going back. This guy was chatting with me for a couple of days. He was eager to meet in person for some chit chat and talks over coffee. He then asked for number. I was a bit skeptical of his identity so I asked his.

The next day, I decided to give him an sms and got an instant reply. Conversations were a convincing so maybe I could trust him...

Everything was fine, he asked me for a meet up to discuss about my life of being converted. Ok, maybe he needs a bit of counselling which I am NOT trained at until this line of message...


Well, I should be used to that since it is the most asked on the gay world. Honestly am no typical hunk type of guy, nor an airhead jock on the block. And not that super in the closet type like Piolo Pascual and other celebrities.. I was quite offended by this. Nawalan tuloy ako ng gana I-meet tong guy na to. For me it's a sign of disrespect, and I don't tolerate it. Am having this gut feeling that he has this hidden agenda. I just don't know what. He said he was going to the gym, so I expect he's another superficial in disguise. Ano ba naman, positive ka na nga, ganyan paren ba? Pwede for a change naman maging humble?

If only Efavirenz side effect wouldn't include drowsiness and draining energy, I would have gone and kicked my ass out of the gym and be as hot as whoever.

I don't wanna impose now, let's test the waters.

Indirect hit

Here's a short story where it made me decide not to disclose my sero status to my mom.

When Dra. G and I had that small catch up, she asked me if I have siblings. I said no, am just the only child. She asked, How about your parents? Do you still live with them? - Yes, I do and with my mom. How about your dad? - No, he's dead since I was like 12 yo. If that's the case, If I were you I'll tell mom that I am HIV positive. Dalawa na lang kayo. - Hmm, I don't think so. I know how she's gonna react.

Me, mom and this soon to be doctor cousin was having lunch. At the same time, we were watching news. There was this segment about HIV found in donated bloods and it's on the loose. The segment was as short as 3 spoonfuls of food when all of a sudden my mom was like crappy. 

She began with statements like - "Poor those HIV victims, they were too promiscuous and they deserve it"
Of course it was really awkward, so I just kept on munching my lunch when minutes later she gave a blast of indirect remarks - which I know she's doing it on purpose.

"You can get HIV by meeting boys and girls through Facebook" - an indirect remark since she's having hints that I am meeting/dating through Facebook. No hard evidence though.

"You can get HIV through prostitutes (she mentioned boys and girls so I think am still safe of being outed as gay) especially in malls like xxxxx" - another indirect hit, she knew that I was in xxxxx just last week.

When a third strike was about to erupt, I hurriedly stood up as if I was gonna take the shower. I don't wanna hear anything like those statements. I know those were meant for me. If that's the case, then let this secret be a secret. 

Decision is final. The next thing the household will know is when I am confined in a hospital with a serious and life threatening illness.

Maybe there's still a chance with my incoming doctor cousin. But we are not that close. Gonna test the waters first.

Self-reliance is now the key for survival. No parental nor peer shoulder to ask.

A little ketchup

It was a weekend and my health is not on the great mood, my condition is getting worse gradually so I decided to have a check up with my good old friend from Makati Medical Center. RITM's OPD is closed on weekends so this was a perfect timing to meet and have a little catch up with Dra. G (get it, ketchup?)

Dra. G was the first person in contact to know about my situation. She was the one who suggested to have the test and introduced me to this world. She's nice and cool just like her curly hair.

There were a lot of patients in line and while waiting for my turn, I saw this guy... a familiar one. We met before and had this hanky panky stuff. He was also waiting for his turn, Now am guessing that he is of the same sero-status. Of course I am confident that it wasn't my fault. It was years back, three or maybe four years ago.. Seeing using my peripheral vision, I know he's looking at me trying to stare if am gonna stare back. sorry, suplado paren ako.. so hindi ko siya pinansin.

He was done and it was my turn, Doc G was surprised seeing me and her big smile made my day.

She ordered a chest xray, cbc and prescribed those meds. I went to the the Radiology department and waited for my test. In all fairness, Rad Techs there are cute. Next was Pathology and Laboratory, I always wanted to have my blood work to be done here. Their phlebotomist is very good in extracting blood, not a single pain when pricking.

I waited for a day for the results, Xray showed that my chest were normal. So no big deal. And oh, by the way xray results were hi-tech .. they burn it on DVD! yes, you have that dvd copy of your xray.. pretty cool.

But the cbc result is not that good.. there were a lot of high's and low's,

Monocytes were high, 10% of 0-7 range. Indicates an infection.
Hemoglobin, Hematocrit and RBC were low. Maybe the side effect of AZT/3TC
MCV were very high, as well as MCH and MCHC

I still hope this is not pneumonia or TB since chest xray were clear. Just anxious about the monocyte level.

Gotta have a follow up check up within the week, stormy weather is up again I hope I can make it on Thursday. Or this bronchitis thingy will improve.

Not feeling well

Not really in good shape the past 2 weeks. 

First week, I caught the common cold.. and it was so nasty that I had to call in sick for work. Which I usually don't do. Had a terrible fever, runny nose and headaches. The common signs of cold. After a couple of days, everything went well.. 2 or 3 days after... I got Acute Bronchitis. Coughing like a dog.

It's getting worse now as chest pains start to sink, which makes me think if this is already something to worry about - like pneumonia or TB. I hope it stays with the Bronchitis part. 

Am now taking some antibiotics prescribed by my good doctor friend from Makati Med.

Rx: Azithromycin (Zithromax) 500mg, one tab/day for 3 days.

And in all fairness, the tablet got cheaper. Two years ago it was around 250+ pesos/tab. Now, around 170+ pesos. That's already a relief. 

Am gonna get my lab test results from Makati Med and hopefully everything is just as good as normal. Especially the xray test. 

August, and I still haven't taken my CD4 test from RITM. That should have been done last July. Am taking my ARVs as prescribed and somewhat on time, so it is expected to rise more than what it is now - 610. Estimate of around 700-900.

Well, am on my 2nd day of medication and I hope later I'd be fine or see some improvement. Hope those test results would go fine. 

My Promiscuity pt.2

It all happened after a movie date with this guy. The movie ended a bit early and both of us were not that eager to go home yet.. We decided to drive to somewhere where we can have a late night chit chat.

We drove from north to south.

Ended up craving for some coffee since it was a bit raining that time. We scouted for some shops and found one along the seaside boulevard. Just before we open the doors, it rained so hard like there's no more tomorrow. We stayed inside the car and waited for this hard rain to pass. As we were waiting, we took the chance of doing some chit chat. 

Kidneys are not the only one stimulated by a cold rainy night, need to mention those hormones too.

Conversation got too steamy and he asked if he could kiss me. I said ok... and there you go. It was raining so hard that you can see to moisture build up on the wind shields and glass windows. It was getting intense but with a little bit of interruption. 

I know what we are doing inside the car and I know that there's this great possibility that someone might caught us. 

As expected, several minutes have gone.. a flashing light came, but it just passed. I thought that security guard didn't notice us but that was already a warning.

To our knowledge of no one seeing us, we continued what we were doing until another minutes later a patrol mobile parked beside our car and 2 policemen dropped of with this big flashlight. 

Oh crap, BUSTED!

They asked one of us to ride inside the police mobile and the other on our car.. they intended to do a convoy.

We got no choice but to go with them.. To my mind, OMG what am I gonna do? call mom and tell - "mom am at the police station.. blah blah blah" what a nice way to reveal my sexuality with everyone.

as we head to the police station, the convoy stopped and that big headed police guy went down and told the other that my date's uncle is a higher official of the police force and they might get suspended if they pursue us. 

Oh god, why am I so lucky.

We transferred cars and give those policemen something to hold their horses off.

After what happened, I asked date if that uncle thingy is true.. he said, yes. He drove me home and that was the our last encounter. 

The next thing I know with my date... I don't know. Maybe he's already one of us. I know he's more than promiscuous.

That would be the last time I'll do that.. lesson learned: don't do it inside a car.

If in case this guy read this, he knows who the blog owner is..

Vampire or Fairy?

I had a vivid dream couple of weeks ago.. so vivid I still remember every detail of it.

Setting: Vampire invasion/apocalypse

Story: 
Vampires and fairies were at war and on a race to rule the earth. I was the only "human" left and acquiring me will give one of them power that is beyond measure. They were to hunt me and the vampires caught me first. They locked me inside a room and ask to decide on what side will I go for. Since I was afraid of these vampires, I chose to be one. So, the next day they will have to convert me by... biting my flesh. The "queen" vampire was about to bite me with this set of teeth....


Am not kidding. 
I was horrified and when she was about to bite my leg... I stopped her and said that I now wanna be a fairy. I screamed out and called the fairies and went on a rescue.. then that's the time I wake up.



Pretty weird.. EFV really makes sleeping more enjoyable than imagining. 

Coping with Efavirenz

Almost a year since I started using ARV's. It was an abrupt decision by the doctors and I wasn't ready that time. Hearing stories from friends, I was a bit scared and always contemplating if their situation will also happen to me.

As usuall, they prescribed the first line cocktails - Lamivudine + Zidovudine + Nevirapine

Stories about Nevirapine, I got scared. Everyday, I always check my skin for adverse reactions from the drug. Good thing it didn't happen to me.. the dreaded skin rash (es) caused by allergic reaction to Nevirapine. 

My body has not adjusted to NVP so I got chills and fever instead. Other two is working fine. Another notorious drug was already waiting for me.. Efavirenz, usually the second in line after NVP.
EFV is one of the most used and effective ARV's out there. So maybe I'm lucky to have this.

I tried asking some who used it.. pretty overwhelming to hear its side effects:

1. Dizziness - the top of the list as more than 50% of users experience this. No one really knows why this is happening but it really do to an extent that you can't stand up, walk straight and you all you wanna do is sleep. Like a hangover.. just multiply it by 5x.

EFV is known to pass through the blood-brain barrier coz of its small molecular size, so it can inhibit those viruses inside the spine and brain which other ARV's can't do. Maybe this is the reason why you get dizzy. It penetrates inside the Central Nervous System and do the job

How to cope: This once a day pill is suggested to be taken just before bedtime and at an empty stomach (plus lots of water). It doesn't work for me though.

I have noticed that when drinking Choco Malt drink like Ovaltine and Milo will increase the effect.
Eating pancit canton, those instant ones, will decrease the effect.
Sleeping just around 8 hours, sleep more and surely I get even sleepy.. That's my problem now.
Sleep less.. You can get still get that kick inside you head but can remedied by coffee. Very similar to hangover.

2. Vivid dreams - the most exciting part. Since it affects your CNS, you get vivid dreams. Dreams vary from happy, sad to nightmares. Even sex dreams.

How to cope: watch funny and  happy films/tv shows or other stuff. I usually watch comedy talk shows, commercials, pranks, America's Funniest Home videos over Youtube. It really helps eliminate nightmares. If you want that sex dream then try to watch your favorite hot male star. lol

3. Lack of concentration/short term memory loss - probably another CNS effect. I tend to forget my "things to do", how to translate Tagalog to English words and v.v, name of that crush, place where I put my phone and similar stuff.

How to cope: I have a handy dandy notebook. I keep track of my "things to do" list. As soon as I remember these things, I write them down. Also, I watch documentaries just to keep my bulb lighting and remember those things I have studied before. Reading over the internet also helps.

4. False Positive Marijuana results - maybe EFV's chemical structure is somewhat related or closely similar with Marijuana or its component. If not, perhaps when EFV is broken down inside the body. This I have not encountered yet since I haven't taken any drug test. I'll cross the bridge when I get there.

How to cope: Talk to Ate Ana lol

These coping mechanisms are just mine, maybe it won't work for you, maybe it will. you can try though.

I need to cope with my sleeping habit, I tend to get sleepy even I have more than 10 hours of sleep. I should create an action plan regarding this. I don't know how, maybe I need more physical exercise.

Salvation and Introversion

Salvation:

My Facebook page was flooded by updates from my (ex) good friend so I tried viewing his page. It came into my mind, it was already a year since that incident and thought of getting it back. Perhaps a reconciliation. But my introversion leads me to nothing. I won't initiate, coz I don't really do that. Maybe ok na yung lurking around his Facebook page to know and catch things up, other than that.. I think it won't work na rin. 

Still learning self-reliance. Not into the verge of getting too desperate of having "another" good friend. It will take time to find one. 

Introversion:

I found his Facebook page, one of my eye candies from the game. I think I have a future in research and development. But I don't wanna add. Teehee.

Landed at 4th

Volleyball tournament was over and we landed up 4th place. In short, we lost.

Regardless of the rain, the game pushed through. For the longest time, I wore shorts. To hide my scars I used  a long pair of socks. Nakakahiya naman if they saw my constellation like scars.

The game started late so we took the chance for warning up. May warm up pa, natalo din naman.

Same old faces were seen as last week and met new ones.

Bagging the 4th place came with individual medals, trophy and 2k cash. Not bad. Ok na rin yun.



After the game, the team wondered where to waste this money. Sakto naman na dinner time, so why not have this team dinner. We went to a nearby 24-hour diner and had some kulitan and stuff. Dinner cost not as big as the prize so we ended up for some beer session. It was fun.

There were Mr. M's . 2 of them. The eye candies.

This awkward moment

I really find it awkward when family is having dinner or lunch and you're all watching the news and they show how HIV cases rise rapidly in the country. 

In this case, I always find ways just to get out of the table and scram away either to the kitchen or to the bedroom. 

Still leaning towards of not telling anyone within the family nor some of my friends. I know how they react every time they see and hear of such news. 

Maybe enough na yung mga nakakaalam ngayon. I won't bother disclosing my sero-status to anyone if this will lead to something not really good. Which I always expect. 

Just like what happened to my closest and good friends. Now they're gone. So no more shoulder to lean on. 
Need to practice self inclination and self help nowadays. 

Yeah really. 

Going the Distance

Let's start the story with this...

I met this guy who's from TW (ISO 3166) - Try figuring out where is this, through a social networking media. Since no harm will be done if I were to talk to him.. We chatted. He's of the mid 20's age and based on his public data, he's an engineer. Well, same as I do. On a different perspective though. 

That time of chatting went onto days, weeks and even months. Mind you, we already met even before I was diagnosed. So roughly more than a year ago. 

We had a very common latitude.. Travel and photography. 

His favorite place to travel to... PH (ISO 3166). Looking through his albums, he travels a lot and been to almost every corner of the country, more than I am. Last year, he paid a visit and ask me to if we can meet. I said yes. We were about to meet at this famous hi-jacked hotel but to a surprise it didn't push though. He fell asleep and that kept me waiting. Bad shot for the first meeting. From then on, I become aloof and never replied to his messages. 

Several months had passed, he came back for another month long vacation. This time, he asked me again to meet him and try to cope with what was lost. We met and clicked. 

I admit, he's my type. Chinito, average height, smart, good built and sobrang puti. His English is not that good, but nonetheless we were able to communicate and express ourselves. 

We met for the second time. This was really obvious, I like him and he likes me. If you do one thing for the second time, it means you're onto it. 

We talked and chatted about his recent local trips and he let me see his photos. He's good in photography. 
He persistently invites me to go to TW and he will show me around. It popped my mind, why not. It will be my first ever abroad trip. (if ever)

He's very vocal in a childish way. "I wanna tell you something but I don't know how to ask it"

Skipping the cheesy parts, he wants it to the higher level. I know it's too fast. But rejecting what he said because he doesn't want long distance relationship. Instead, he said - "I like you and want this to go beyond whatever what we have but, distance will hinder." (of course, that wasn't verbatim, nagmarunong lang ako na itranslate yung sinabi nya). "We can still be good friends" He said.

To my mind, ok lang kung issue ang distance, but what if he learns about my sero-status? For sure, I might be rejected. So let that "distance issue" do the talking. 

Sinabi ko sa sarili ko - kung kelan naman may HIV ako saka naman dumating yung pagkakataon na to. (disregarding this distance issue)

Not the right situation nor the right time. 

Left the place with as if nothing was heard or talked about. I know up to this day, we are still good friends.

A good link

I found a good link regarding  HIV. I think it was created by Gilead Sciences.
Videos of stories were great and it will provide basic information needed.

You might want to check it HERE.

Red Team

After a year or such, I played volleyball once more. It was the "inter-university" volleyball competition. Running the court were those from RITM, SLH and other institution. It was held somewhere in Mandaluyong City.

Met old and new faces. Some new eye candies and such. It was really fun but my friendliness is not really at par. Of course, the same old me.. the suplado type looking around the corner.



Ate Beth gave text blasts about the game and I think it was the time to loosen up my nerves and muscles. My last play was for a group of gay guys last year, just a fun game though. Unlike this one with prizes and much.

Talking about the play, I was just so-so. Why didn't I take serious efforts when I was in high school.
Regarding the players... well, met some good old friends and of course new ones. On a group of 30+ who wouldn't think to look for some eye candies right? I got like 3 or so...

Mr. D
Mr. M
Mr. J
Mr. P

and that's 4.

We lot though. And i don't really like the feeling of getting lost. Blame it to the innate nature of Geminis.

2 in 24

In a span of 24 hours, I saw 2 of my exes. 

First. He was riding a cab passed right through me. Not a big deal though.

Second. It was break time and I decided to have something to eat from a nearby 7-11 store. 
Across the street was this building of a major Telco company. He was there waiting for a cab. 
And in all fairness, he looked good than before. Nice matching colored hair, lost wait and improved get up. 

I wondered, maybe I won't get infected if only we sticked together.

My Promiscuity pt.1

I just wanna share some experiences..

This was roughly 4 years ago. I met this guy from a famous gay social networking site. G4M.
I know he was just into sex since he was not really that sensible to talk to. Weeks have passed and he was very insistent in meeting me. I was about to leave my office - Ortigas area. When he texted, very persistent to drop by "his" apartment located in Pasong Tamo. Since located naman sya along the way, napilit din nya ko. 

We met at this nearby Mcdonalds and went straight sa so-called apartment nya. I was a bit doubtful so I asked, 

Magisa ka lang ba sa bahay mo?
... Hindi, kasama ko mga friends ko.

So, looking to that answer.. kinabahan na ko. Hindi naman kasi ako sanay na makipag-meet to another guy pag may kasamang iba or other 3rd wheel. Point of no return, nag decided na ko tumuloy. 

Going straight to bedroom, pag bukas nya ng pintuan.. May nakahiga ng guy. Akala ko bedspacer. Pero to my surprise, that was his bedroom. I was stunned. 3some ito. Shet. 

Wala na ko magawa, we went to start this so-called fun of his when they said na...

Si xxx nasa bathroom pa. Hintayin pa natin.
What the fuck, so it's not 3some. 4some pala. The boyfriend of the bedroom owner. 
Wala na ko magawa. The thing happened and started as expected. Goodness gracious, gusto pa nila ako i-bottom. Pila balde. As far as I can remember hindi naman ako fuck doll. Pinipilit nila ibuka yung mga legs ko and apply this smelly lubricant. I insisted, ayoko talaga.. They looked panget and not really good looking. Matured and seemed like callboy appeal. Ehhh. No. Basta, No.

Para matapos lang, I did my stuff and finished my course para wala na. 
After 15mins I hurriedly packed my things at nilayasan ko na sila. 

After a while, I learned from a friend that these guys do this every now and then. Invite someone to that apartment without knowing this 4some happening. They do it every Thursday. I don't know what's with that solemn day. Well, for sure one of them might have HIV na. Especially the guy who invited me. 

This won't ever happen again.  
 

Movie glance: Priest 3D


Been waiting for the movie for the longest time. This movie was supposed to shown last 2010, but decided to postpone it to give way for Resident Evil: Afterlife. They then again postponed it to convert to 3D and postponed it again to May 2011 in time for summer audience.
I really love vampire movie settings. Well, not the cheesy ones like Robert Pattinson's. The blood shed and gore type of movie.

Full of expectations, The movie was a bit disappointing.

Fight scenes were good but of small quantity. Can easily anticipate the storyline. I guess a possible sequel.

A must see fight scene was the Rope Dart with Maggie Q.

It's a so-so movie. Not really worth the 3D pay. Just try to see it on 2D or the normal screen.

Twitching

Can't concentrate much on Blogger. Am too damn busy with Twitter. Hahaha.

Not at Par

Feeling is not really good recently. Too many anxieties to deal with. Can't concentrate properly, stressed and pressured. I just wanna dive in an ice-cold swimming pool. 

I just had a photo shoot opportunity held by an annual bikini summit. I think I did well. But photos were not included. Disappointed and frustrated. Though I still owe the agency a gratitude for giving me the chance. Maybe I need to practice more editorial shots. What will those people whom I've worked with say? That's what I am anxious about.

My pet companion is severely ill. She's not feeling well and it seems that she's on the brink of giving up. I had her just a few months back and like what I always do, I invest emotions onto something if I know it's worth investing for. As of now, it may sound silly, but I'm crying over my feline friend. Going home and opening the door, seeing her meowing and waiting for me. Waking me up as she licks my fingers. It's really hard and depressing for such possible loss. 

Birthday is about less than a month. Nothing to celebrate about, just the thing that today I'm still alive. Pretty much that's it. 

Do those test really tell that I'm depressed? Am trying to cope with this but it seems I am having a hard time. 

I think I can no longer do this alone.

A self-assessment

I took some Depression tests online.

Result 1:

You answered 9 items out of 10 "Yes". According to The National Mental Health Association, 5 or more yes answers indicates that you may be suffering from clinical depression.

Result 2:

Here's your score:Your score is = 21


Scores of 1-10 Normal


Scores of 11-14 Normal Life Mood


Scores of 15-20 Headed Towards Depression


Scores of 21-25 Mild Depression


Scores of 26-30 Moderate Depression


Scores of Over 31 Severe Depression

If your score is in the mild, moderate, or severe range talk to a counselor or your doctor. Please visit other sections of this web site for helpful information on coping with depression. 

Result 3:


They are just one and the same.

See the Sunlight


Sunsets are one of the greatest times to shoot. The Golden hour of the day.

Exif data:

Aperture: f11
Shutter Speed: 1/350 second
ISO: 200
Exposure Bias: 0
Metering: Center Weighted
Focal Length: 50mm

Frustration

I think I'll quit Portrait photography. Nothing is really happening. I think I am trying to hard.

I really hope to be a magazine photographer. But the thing is... it's not right on track.

I have models - I don't have location
I have location - I don't have models
I have a shoot - I don't have the equipment
I have the equipment - I don't have shoot
I have all - I don't have the chance

Really frustrating. I think I need to go back to Landscape. Chance is not not giving me to improve and hone my skills. Heartbreaking. All I do is just stare at those high fashion magazines, eating my heart out.

My portrait lens was just a waste. It seems I need to sell this and buy an Ultra-Wide angle one.

I'm depressed.

Ridaura and Mosaic Vaccine

Two medical breakthroughs were released recently.

1.
New tests shows a Gold (Au)-containing drug eliminates HIV reservoirs. 

Reservoirs make HIV difficult to cure. Those creatures get inside on what we call "Memory Cells" for a while. They stay for as long as 8-10 years and when ARV treatment is stopped, resurgence and replication will recur.  

ARV's stop the HIV replication process, that is at different stages. Researchers are now looking for ways on how to target these inactive cells-containing HIV. 

The drug Ridaura (brand) - auranofin (generic) is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It acts by killing those inactive cells and shortening the lives of the new ones. 

Here's the complete story - hope you understand some terms :) LINK

2.
Another reason why HIV is hard to cure is because it can mutate and adapt to certain environment caused by drugs used and the body's natural immune system. Proteins which are very stubborn and intelligent in finding ways to enter CD4 cells.

Mosaic Vaccine

A potential new vaccine that will commence human trials by late 2012 - when the world is about to end. 

A vaccine that comprises of different sets of proteins from a central database. Database which is home to different information on HIV mutations. 

Here's the LINK

Plus the new line of ARV's for to be tested.

Hope this will end the 25-year reign of the creature. Just like the old days when people were scared of Bubonic Plague and when Polio is now eradicated.