a dream.

01.07.2017

a positive people support group.

not based on social class

or region.

does not mind negatives in it.

not based on one’s treatment hub.

no organizational territory.

no age or gender discrimination.

with sense.of ownership.

mature.

fun.

well-informed.

shared responsibility.

no internalized stigma.

and don’t forget

this is my dream.

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2018 with Toby

12.31.2017

Toby….

A few minutes ago, I heard you left.

they said you never woke up.

as of now, no one knows how long have you been lying there, lifeless, when the help finally saw you.

I am sure you don’t want anyone sad with your leaving us.

So the 2018 starts in a few minutes–

with your memories.

your tight hugs.

your sharon cuneta loyalty.

your sincere touch.

your unconditional acceptance of my HIV status.

we all will miss you.

Happy new year, Toby.  

Am sure this is your happiest ever.

We love you.

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Who Can We Trust ?

12.30.2017

Watching Suits on Netflix was like seeing justifications to a wrong doing over and over again. The truth kept resurfacing stabbing everyone from the back, and somehow, they get away with it.

It’s fiction. Every episode has a load of quotes, fun and advice. Fear.

I am not writing this to say what’s wrong is wrong.  What I have so far picked up is that people in the series have trusted one another and no matter the circumstance,  they stuck together.

I heard song playing in one episode, “Who do we trust from here?”

It brought back tons of memories. People I trusted, some who may have disappointed me, and some, I may have disappointed.  And I always anchor my faith in people to how much I trust them.

Who do we trust? 

When we’re at our lowest, or at our peak, who do we trust?

When the odds are against us, what we did, or what may happen, who do we trust?

When stigma and judgment is in every room we step in, who do we trust?

When trust is betrayed, do we trust….again?

Trust is hard to quantify.

I think trust has a lot to do with guts. 

but whoever we trust, we chose to trust.  If we stumble, we stand back up and look back, why we trusted in the first place. 

Then, we may trust again.

It’s a choice. We may have been pained, hurt, wounded, but trust is something we can recycle.  To some, trust is earned. For some, it comes with love. 

Whatever the case is, we trust and we can build, and rebuild trust. 

If we choose to.

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September 2017, HIV AIDS REGISTRY OF THE PHILIPPINES

12.20.2017

Yesterday, the September HIV/AIDS Registry was released by our partners at the Epidemiology Bureau, you may see the file here: EB_HIV_September_AIDSreg2017

Some bullet points:

  • 936 New cases; 130 of which were classified as AIDS cases
  • 489 of the 936 new cases came from the 24-35 y.o. range
  • 18 cases were 50 y.o and above
  • 40 new cases among adolescents (aged 10-19) were reported
  • 5 cases of pregnant women with HIV were reported
  • 40 deaths were reported
  • NCR had 37% of the cases with Region 4A coming in second having reported 16% of the cases
  • 246 of the 936 cases reported bisexual intercourse
  • 23 PWID cases were reported from the 936 new cases

SEPTDOH1

 

For more information and HIV screening, you may please contact: HASCOMMUNITYOPERATIONS@GMAIL.COM  |||  http://www.facebook.com/hashpilipinas ||| http://www.twitter.com/hash_support

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hear Me not

12.19.2017

born in the world sans music, no sounds, no noise.

mine is a world of Silence.

the past year has been loud…

In my mind…

In my soul…

yet people don’t hear my cries

my loud fears-

all mine…

mine alone.

HIV was my constant company,

my mom was my constant strength… 

until today.

my silence is now PEACE.

FOREVER has ushered me beyond the sound of silence.

it’s over.

ma, 

did i fail you?

if i did

you never made me feel that i did.

sorry i had to leave…

i’m tired.

and i’m fine now.

Thank you…

for everything.

goodbye for now.

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The senile “HIV/AIDS” Law in the Philippines

12.13.2017

So I was asked to answer a key informant interview (written) and I found myself writing down some articles from the 1998 law.  I noted some sections are “limiting barriers” and a lot of the other sections as not having been implemented or enforced.

Most of us would know that the proposed amendment has passed the lower house more than a week ago, but the 2nd reading at the Senate has been postponed to January 2018.  The proposed amendment had a lot of new clauses, hence the need for a new law.

I noted some issues below on the  1998  AIDS law, Some were:

Issue Section
Enforcement RA8504 Article 1, Section 4

All teachers and instructors of said HIV/AIDS courses shall be required to undergo a seminar or training on HIV/AIDS prevention and control to be supervised by DECS, CHED and TESDA, in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH), before they are allowed to teach on the subject.

 

Limiting Barrier RA8504 Article 1, Section 4

no instruction shall be offered to minors without adequate prior consultation with parents who must agree to the thrust and content of the instruction materials.

Enforcement RA8504 Article 1, Section 5

The knowledge and capabilities of all public health workers shall be enhanced to include skills for proper information dissemination and education on HIV/AIDS.

Enforcement RA8504 Article 1, Section 6

All government and private employees, workers, managers, and supervisors, including members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), shall be provided with the standardized basic information and instruction on HIV/AIDS which shall include topics on confidentiality in the workplace and attitude towards infected employees and workers. In collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall oversee the anti-HIV/AIDS campaign in all private companies while the Armed Forces Chief of Staff and the Director General of the PNP shall oversee the implementation of this Sec..

 

Enforcement RA8504 Article 1, Section 8

Informational aids or materials on the cause, modes of transmission, prevention, and consequences of HIV infection shall be adequately provided at all international ports of entry and exit.

 

Enforcement RA8504 Article 1, Section 9

Local government units, in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), shall conduct an educational and information campaign on HIV/AIDS. The provincial governor, city or municipal mayor and the barangay captain shall coordinate such campaign among concerned government agencies, non-government organizations and church-based groups.

Enforcement

 

 

 

 

 

 

RA8504 Article 1, Section 10

Information on prophylactics. – Appropriate information shall be attached to or provided with every prophylactic offered for sale or given as a donation. Such information shall be legibly printed in English and Filipino, and contain literature on the proper use of the prophylactic device or agent, its efficacy against HIV and STD infection,

 

“as well as the importance of sexual abstinence and mutual fidelity.” *Note: update needed

 

 

Limiting barrier

 

Limiting barrier

 

(Limited to tri-media(radio, tv and print); many social media claims and misleading information need to be sanctioned)

RA8504 Article 1, Section 11

Penalties for misleading information– Misinformation on HIV/AIDS prevention and control through false and misleading advertising and claims in any of the tri-media or the promotional marketing of drugs, devices, agents or procedures without prior approval from the Department of Health

 

 

Limiting barrier

Enforcement

 

(No known guidelines have been issued specially on surgery. “Universal precautions” have always been used but no specific guidelines have been issues to shut down issues on mandatory pre-surgery testing)

RA8504 Article 2, Section 13

The Department of Health (DOH), in consultation and in coordination with concerned professional organizations and hospital associations, shall issue guidelines on precautions against HIV transmission during surgical, dental, embalming, tattooing or similar procedures. The DOH shall likewise issue guidelines on the handling and disposition of cadavers, body fluids or wastes of persons known or believed to be HIV-positive.

 

Enforcement

 

Example:  Philippine Airlines, KCC mall Zamboanga

RA8504 Article 3 Section 13

Compulsory HIV testing as a precondition to employment, admission to educational institutions, the exercise of freedom of abode, entry or continued stay in the country, or the right to travel, the provision of medical service or any other kind of service, or the continued enjoyment of said undertakings shall be deemed unlawful.

 

Enforcement

 

 No QA set for counselors who finished the counsellor’s training. No Client KII, no any form of quali check is in place, or have been reported

RA8504 Article 3 Section 20

 

Pre-test and post-test counselling. – All testing centers, clinics, or laboratories which perform any HIV test shall be required to provide and conduct free pre-test counselling and post-test counselling for persons who avail of their HIV/AIDS testing services. However, such counselling services must be provided only by persons who meet the standards set by the DOH.

 

Enforcement

A lot of cities still don’t have partner CSOs to intensify community-based services (i.e., Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Paranaque, etc)

 

RA8504 Article 4 Section 23

Local government units, in coordination and in cooperation with concerned government agencies, non-government organizations, persons with HIV/AIDS and groups most at risk of HIV infection shall provide community-based HIV/AIDS prevention and care services.

 
Enforcement

 

Where’s the study? Is this in reference to the OHAT?

RA8504 Article 4 Section 26

 

The Secretary of Health, in cooperation with the Commissioner of the Insurance Commission and other public and private insurance agencies, shall conduct a study on the feasibility and viability of setting up a package of insurance benefits and, should such study warrant it, implement an insurance coverage program for persons with HIV. The study shall be guided by the principle that access to health insurance is part of an individual’s right to health and is the responsibility of the State and of society as a whole.

(NON-RA8504 RELATED)

Enforcement

While the insurance commission has come out with a general order to cover PLHIVs for life insurance, no specific implementations have been rolled out at the insurance company-levels.

 

Insurance commission circular order 2017-11

GUIDELINES IN THE LIFE UNDERWRITING OF APPLICANTS WITH ACTUAL, PERCEIVED OR SUSPECTED TO BE WITH HUMAN TMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)

Here:  https://www.insurance.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/CL2017_11.pdf

 

 

Limiting Barrier

*I do not know where the proxy consent stands on the release of the results for minors

RA8504Article 6 Section 32

Section 32. Release of HIV/AIDS test results. – All results of HIV/AIDS testing shall be confidential and shall be released only to the following persons:

(b) either parent of a minor child who has been tested;

Enforcement  

RA8504 Article 7 Section 39

 

I am almost sure that the Philippine National AIDS Council is aware of these.  So…. let me end this with another “Oh well….”

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July to August 2017, HIV AIDS REGISTRY OF THE PHILIPPINES

11.27.2017

There was a delay in the national report for the HIV / AIDS registry, so here you go

Some “notable noted” points were:

  • 1962 new cases for July to August, 2017. No, that’s not my birth year =)
  • That brings us to 7,363 year-to-date total number of cases
  • 250/1962 were reported as AIDS cases, either diagnosed with OI or CD4 lower than 200 ( and maybe both)
  • 89 females /1962 new cases
  • 512 (28.3%) of the 1810 males reported having sex with both males and females
  • 118 reported deaths for the two months mentioned
  • 610 cases from our young key population (15 to 24).  Majority came from the 25 to 34 range (1,009 cases)
  • 18 pregnant women were reported to have been confirmed with HIV
  • 27% came from the National Capital Region, followed by Region 4A (18%), 2nd runner is Miss Jamaica, I mean, Region 3 with 7% of the 1962 cases
  • August actually had 1104 of the 1962 cases.  This is again, a new record high for the Philippines
  • A total of 98 adolescent cases (10-19 yo) were reported of the 1962 new cases. 96 of 98 cases were sexually transmitted.
  • There were 7 children aged 10 years and below, all mother-to-child or vertical transmission.
  • 8% or 154 cases were reported as overseas foreign workers (OFWs)

Here’s a copy:    HARP July to August 2017

FOR COMMUNITY-BASED HIV SCREENING, PLEASE MESSAGE US AT FACEBOOK.COM/HASHPilipinas or send an SMS to 0927-806-REDx (8669)

 

 

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It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay

11.03.2017

You committed to attend to a patient, and then you didn’t show up. You’re a volunteer and people don’t pay you to do these things. It’s not right, but it’s okay

You attended a training class, and then you didn’t use your skills to serve the community.  You’re a volunteer and people don’t pay you to do these things. It’s not right, but it’s okay

You intentionally bash other programs to promote your own projects.  It’s a free country.   It’s not right, but it’s okay

You make up stories to make yourself more popular online.  It’s not right, but it’s okay

You dated someone and led him on for weeks, months even– only to let him go because you cannot disclose your HIV status.  You have your reasons.  Personal, but it’s your life. It’s not right, but it’s okay

You bash people online.  It’s your account,  you say it’s your prerogative.  Fine.  It’s not right, but it’s okay, I guess

Mind you, shit happens.

It’s not right, but it’s okay.

 

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Rainbows

10.11.2017

While counseling a new CBS reactive client, these came out. 

It’s a sign, a promise. 

I have a feeling you’re going to be fine.

He said, “I will be. I have to be. I need to be.
#fortilocandia

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Turn Time Back

10.10.2017

Ever thought of turning back time?

Maybe lingered in that one long unending moment of pain?

Or lived in the past where things were a lot better?

Instead of making the most of the time you have.

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