Well what do you know, I marked my 3rd year as a PLHIV last March 26 and it was only early this week that I remembered that significant date after I mentioned about my blog to a new friend of mine I met through social media.
Three years of living with this incurable ailment. Three years of hosting a virus that I contracted through unsafe sex. Three years of ups and downs as far as my health is concerned.
So you might ask, how have I been doing since I learned that I was HIV-positive on that fateful day of March 26, 2010. As of this writing, I am doing good so far.
I can't say the same though in the months that followed after I learned that I am a PLHIV. After I started taking antiretrovirals (ARVs), I contracted fever and rashes all over my body, which meant that the first line of ARV given to me caused an allergic reaction so it had to be changed. I was weak and had to stay in bed for more than a week as my body adjusted to the ARVs, which wrought havoc on my work sked. I also suffered from bouts of folliculitis on my scalp, cellulitis on my legs, and then I had shingles. Since March 2010, I'd been hospitalized twice and would see a doctor every now and then for various bodily ailments as a result of my body's adjustment to the ARVs I was taking,
It was such a struggle way back then and I nearly gave up on living. If it weren't for fellow PLHIVS, friends who knew about my status, my family and my partner who would help me deal with my condition, I would have been six feet underground a long time ago.
It's a daily struggle to adhere to a healthy lifestyle and taking my ARVs on time. I also have to be on guard every day against any health menace considering that my immune system is already compromised. Even if I am taking ARVs, it is no guarantee that I won't get sick. There are times when I suddenly become unwell so I have to go and have a checkup whenever it happens even if it is just a case of ordinary fever.
Aside from this, I also have to deal with occasional bouts of depression as a result of my condition and an effect of my ARVs. It can be difficult at times but thankfully, I am able to manage well.
I know there will still be difficulties and challenges ahead as a result of my health status but with God's help, and the support of my friends, my family and my partner; I know that I can overcome them with flying colors-so to speak.
And as a felllow PLHIV would often tell me - keep on fighting!