Thursday, January 31, 2013

Transferring to another TH?

I've long considered moving to another treatment hub (TH) but kept on postponing it because of the legwork and paperwork it would entail but after the new policies being implemented in RITM-ARG and the loss of the homely atmosphere the ARG used to have, I think I will be moving to another hub soon.

I live and work in Makati City so any hub that's nearer to me would be more convenient.

I'm eyeing MMC, PGH or TMC as hubs I will transfer to.  Anybody knows what steps do I need to take?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Makati City support group

This is something I had long been planning to do but it just couldn't take off for one reason or another but maybe this time, it might just be realized.

Just a month or two after I learned in early 2010 that I was HIV positive, I had decided to embark on a personal campaign to help in the HIV-Aids awareness efforts of both the public and private sector through counselling online or in a one-on-one setting or setting up a support group for PLHIVs working or living in Makati City.

I feel that there is a need for a support group for those of us working or living in Makati City as a means to support each other, bond with each other, share experiences and get advice. As I had planned, the group can meet twice a month or increase the frequency if and when the need arises in the future.

What do you think, guys? Do share your sentiments.

More and more cases

I've been following the monthly reports by the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) of the Department of Health (DOH) on the HIV-Aids cases in the country and all I can say is: Sigh

There are more and more new cases recorded in the country, which happens to be one of the few nations where HIV cases are on the rise unlike in others where a downtrend is noted.

The government should really do something to stem the tide before it is too late.

By the way, I was diagnosed in March 26, 2010 so it will be almost three years since I learned of my HIV status and my  so-called "rebirth" happened.

Crazy policy at RITM-ARG

I don't know exactly when it was implemented but I believe it was in the middle or past middle of last year.  I am referring to the new policy at the Aids Research Group (ARG) at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) whereby those who would undergo CD4 count should be at the clinic between 7 and 8 a.m. from that time on.  No CD4 count requests will be entertained after that.  If a PLHIV misses his CD4 count appointment, he or she will have to take the next one SIX MONTHS AFTER. I call that crazy but I will get to that in awhile.

Let me digress for a moment.  In the past, CD4 counts are done every Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at RITM and PLHIVs who need to go through it have until 10 a.m. to do so. It was good and didn't need to be changed until last year. As they say, if it ain't broke, why fix it?

Anyway, when I went to the RITM-ARG sometime August or September last year, I was surprised to find an announcement on the way setting a new schedule for CD4 count. Weekdays and between 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. only. Okay, I told myself, I will just have to get up really early when I'm due to have my CD4 count (the last one I had in April last year was 407 or 409).

I talked to Nurse Maram (in-charge of laboratory tests for PLHIVs) and she informed me of the new policy so my CD4 count was set on October 26, 2012. She asked for my contact number so she can text and remind me of it prior to the date it is supposed to be done.

Unfortunately, I forgot all about my CD4 schedule because I was really busy at work and I didn't receive any text from RITM-ARG reminding me about it as Nurse Maram had assured me. So I texted Ate Ellen and Ate Beth or RITM-ARG if I can have it reset to November or December at the latest. They referred the matter to Nurse Maram who adamantly rejected my request to reschedule my CD4 count to April 11, 2013. Geez!

Now my concern is this: what if my CD4 on October last year had dropped dangerously low which I will never know because Nurse Maram said I can only have my next CD4 count in April. And what if something bad happened to me because my CD4 was already very low and it wasn't known because Nurse Maram rejected my request to have it reset to November or December.  Nurse Maram is to blame for it.

Anyway, I hope the RITM-ARG would think of possible scenarios relative to a change in any policy or rules that might put a PLHIV at a disadvantage.  Lives are at stake here.  They should always be aware of that.


February 19, 2012. Almost a year since my last post in this blog that I am revisiting and will update as much as I can from now on.

Work has mostly kept me from writing here and keeping you, my followers, posted on what's going on with me. I still work and live here in Makati City and still loving my job - no to burnout. :)

And as I write here again, this will be the first of three new articles I will be posting. :)