I recently heard somewhere that every 1 hour and 20mins, someone gets infected from HIV. I honestly don’t know where this came from or how this computation came about, what I do know is I meet a newbie at least once every other day in Twitter alone.
While it is indeed alarming to know that the spread of disease is declining globally, this is NOT the case in the Philippiness. It is said that “431 new #HIV cases for June Brings total for 2013 at 2,323 and from 1984 at 14,025 This year there is one new HIV case reported every 2hrs” as twitted by @erictayagSays
A few new brave pozzie twitters have come out recently seeking support online. It is my observation that anxiety is brought about by a great lack of understanding of the virus and its treatment. But why the lack of understanding?
It seems that a few clinics are alleged to have conducted NO pre- and post-test counseling. Pre-test and Post-test counseling sessions are very important. They give pertinent information on what to do and where to go next. I have brought up this issue to at least two NGOs but to no avail. Some recent non-counseling allegations were m/c in SM North Edsa and h/w in Greenbelt. h/w even “texted” the reactive result to its client.
And so our new pozzie wanders off not knowing what to do next.
A common next step is voila! GO ONLINE. Google about #HIV and the experiences several PLHIVs have had over the years. Look at adverse effects of ARV and imagine themselves to be under the same condition. Some young ones would go look for other newbies and compare notes. Then?
The online world is full of information — rich and pure at that. You can find facts about HIV and generalize the facts as your own. You can find people who will tell you about their bouts and struggles over the past few years and the stories stop there.
You will encounter posts of people who are sick and you will go all anxious and end up thinking: How long shall I live?
Don’t get me wrong. Reading is a basic necessity towards learning and understanding all sorts of things. But know that what you read may not necessarily apply to you. Be informed but be cautious of what is around you.
Talk to people but know that you may have similar cases—you will never have THE SAME situation.
Read all you want. Interact all you want. But if this is what you want, learn to be brave when faced with seemingly frightening stories of other people and what you read online.
I cannot however tell anyone to talk(/read) and not to talk(/read) to this and that person(/website). Like I said, just be careful in what you read and who you talk to.
And always keep in mind:
- You are one unique case. No matter how seemingly same experience you may have with another person.
- Your doctor will always make the last call. As people will always tell you to do this and take that.
- You have a long, fruitful and great future ahead of you. Don’t waste it.
As closing, my boss told me the other day while we were stuck in the middle of the Greenbelt traffic jam:
The early diagnosis of HIV has one great blessing that comes with it. TIME. Time to reconcile with your enemies. Time to heal wounds. Time to touch other people’s lives. Time to look up to the heavens and reconcile with God. Time to create new memories with your loved ones. Time to give back to others.
So you see my new pozzie children, if you think you were diagnosed way too early, think again.