Friday, September 24, 2010

Petition to replenish the Global Fund

Reposted from fellow poz bloggers

If you are taking advantage of the free antiretrovirals (ARVs) in the Philippines or would like to take advantage of it when your CD4 falls below 500, then we need your help.

World leaders are meeting up in New York, USA on October 4 and 5, 2010 to announce their financial contributions to the Global Fund to fight Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Aids), tuberculosis and malaria for the next three years.

in order to maintain, accelerate and effectively implement its programs, Global Fund needs US$20 billion.

We need to ensure that the world leaders uphold their promises to provide treatment and care to the millions living with and/or affected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Aids, tuberculosis and malaria. Let them know that we are watching them. Let us demand that they commit the US$20 billion needed by Global Fund.

Show them that we care for the millions who will die without the Global Fund programs. Do this by following the link and signing the petition.

Please send it to your friends, families, colleagues and networks and encourage them to sign up too.

500,000 signatures are need by Thursday, September 30, 2010!

The petition will be delivered to world leaders at the Replenishment Meeting, and is one of a number of actions that will be occurring around the world in the lead-up to the meeting.

For more information on how your participation will make a difference, go to

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I had a recent conversation with the top honcho of Pinoy Plus, a non-government organization (NGO) that caters to and supports people living with HIV (PLHIV) or pozzies, if you may.

He revealed that this year, the country registered the highest increase of HIV cases on a per day basis. I repeat, per day not per month. And whereas migrant workers was the sector where most HIV cases were recorded in the past, it has now shifted to the MSM or men who have sex with men group. Not only that, transmission has become more localized.

He also said that in previous years, the country would only have one case of HIV recorded a day. It became two cases a day starting early this year and then last May, it jumped to five cases per day. New infections make up most of the new cases while the rest are long-time carriers of the virus who only knew about their status recently when they decided to take a HIV test after becoming more aware of the need to know their status.

If it is any consolation, he added, the Philippines still has one of the lowest prevalence rate of HIV/Aids cases in the world.

Much really needs to be done to stem the continuing rise of HIV cases in the country. This can be done through an aggressive promotion of the awareness of HIV/Aids in the country by the public and private sectors. We should all act now lest we see a HIV/Aids epidemic blow up in our faces in the near future.

Monday, September 13, 2010


What I thought was going to be an uneventful evening at work turned out otherwise. The surprise that left me speechless for several seconds wasn't even work-related but involved coming out regarding my medical condition to my 19-year-old nephew.

First off, let me say that this nephew of mine is my godchild. He is the eldest of my younger sister's two kids. He WAS a black sheep in our family, so much so that he gave his mother, stepfather, us - his uncle and aunt, and younger brother heartaches and headache. I say WAS because we've noticed a welcome change in his behavior and his dealings with us recently.

I was online at Facebook when a chat window popped up. It was my nephew. Right after the hi's and hellos, he told me straight-up that his stepfather revealed my medical status to him. I was shocked and I didn't reply for almost a minute. I didn't know what to say. I was unsure how he would take it if I confirmed that I was positive for HIV, emotional and easily impressionable as he was at his age, and I was also afraid that I would lose his respect for me. I also didn't know the level of knowledge he had about HIV.

My nephew said his stepfather had to tell him my status after he insisted on knowing what it was when his stepdad committed a slip of the tongue and mentioned that I was ill. Bothered by what his stepdad said, he pestered his stepfather for days about what exactly I was ill of.

My nephew told me he felt bad with me, his mom and stepdad because we did not tell him about it right away. I had to explain to him that I had left it to his mother and stepdad the decision whether or not to tell him and his brother about my medical condition and it wasn't that easy to reveal.

I apologized that we had to keep it a secret from his at first and he understood. But what touched me the most was when he said he has been praying for me. I was teary-eyed.

I tried to gauge his level of knowledge about HIV and I could say he knows relatively well about it, presumably because he had been briefed by his stepdad about it. He only asked about the antiretrovirals that I was taking and what was it for.

Our conversation ended on a nice note and on hindsight, I was relieved that my nephew took it well and I have his love and support.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Life is a..... beach

Two weekends ago, my partner and I were resting on White Beach in Boracay. As I gazed at the horizon, I could not help but be thankful for that travel opportunity that I initially thought had fizzled after I learned that I was HIV-positive because of the uncertainty of the times that lay ahead. We had planned this trip last year yet to coincide with our second anniversary as a couple and during the long weekend as a result of National Heroes Day falling on a Monday.

But last June, my partner decided to work on that travel plan when my health checkups had stabilized. It was going to be his first time in Boracay while it was going to be my second visit. I first stepped on the white fine sand of White Beach in 2007 and I was alone on that trip. It was supposed to be a trip for me and partner that year but we broke up before the trip so I had to go alone. In a way, the Boracay sojourn then served as healing time for me.

Anyway, last August 27, my partner and I were all packed and ready to go. I was groggy from the ARVs I took and I haven't slept yet as I had come from work the previous night. We brought along our "child", a stuffed tiger toy we named Pepeton (he looks like Tigger in Winnie the Pooh). We got at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) 3 three hours ahead of our flight time (11:30 a.m.) so we had snacks at the mezzanine lounge. We checked in our luggage, had snacks again and then waited for our flight. We left Naia 3 on time and landed almost an hour after at Caticlan. We were met by the land transfer representative and then checked into the hotel. After dumping our bags, we both proceeded to White Beach and walked from D'Mall area in Station 2 to the end of Station 3 and back. We went back to the hotel where I slept while my partner took photos of the beach and of Pepeton on the beach as well. Cute. :)

The next day, our second anniversary, we walked from D'Mall up to the grotto in Station 1 and back. Went for a swim, had lunch, went to the hotel for a nap and to cap off the evening, we had dinner in Aria, one of the fancy Italian restoes there and a night cap in Juice Bar.

August 29, we swam again, had lunch and then attended Holy Mass. The day ended with the both of us tired from going around but happy.

We left Boracay with a somewhat heavy heart on August 30 and the weather, just like during our entire stay, was perfect and sunny. We wished we didn't have to go back to the urban jungles of Metro Manila but we had work ahead of us. We both decided we will go back in August next year, God-willing, to celebrate our third anniversary there. :)