12years & 45old: I am Here

07.29.2019

13 to 25years ago.

I was younger. Impulsive.   I went to places. A lot of places. Bath houses. Cruising places. Movie houses. Bars.  And the legendary MIRC.   I had sex a lot, a LOT. I moved from one pad to another, nearly every year. One city to another, Quezon City, Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Taguig.  On the average I had around 7-10 partners weekly. Not an anal pene-fan but I had a few– imagine my definition of the word FEW. Started as top. Eventually bottomed. Ended up with anything goes. Career was stable.  Very good actually.  I was independent.  I was brave. I was confident.  I loved myself– in fact, I may have loved myself too much.  I didn’t do long term relationships, one week, two weeks, a month tops– then I ghost up.  I was nice (‘guess I still am), too nice I can’t say no to sex even if I didn’t like the “eyeball”. Anything goes. “Everything went.”

12 years ago.

I found him. A month after,  HIV diagnosis came.  He tested negative. I asked him to go if he wanted to. He didn’t. Confirmatory came back 3 months after.  CD4 scheduled 4 months after initial test.  But they lost my records. No baseline. No Nothing. I went back to my routine, this time with my ONE.   Career better than ever.

9 years ago.

I started ARV (CD4 less than 300) after a 2-piece shingle threat. I was undetectable in less than a year. Hub was hardly “inhabited”, I hardly saw other patients. RITM was a piece of heaven. I never had OIs.

7 years ago.

I quit my job. My friend and I decided there’s a need to focus on treatment and care services after having found out we were losing friends… to AIDS.  HASH was founded.  I focused on the organization. On the community.

Deaths still frequent.  But I told myself, we could still do more. I told myself, we are doing more… for the community. And we shall do more.

TODAY.

I realized that my hospitalization last week brought me closer to my grave. Not because of HIV, but because of hypertension that was so bad, my cardio said I was lucky I was still alive.  No shortness of breath, no headaches– but my nose bled profusely I thought I was gonna need transfusion.

That was in fact my first time to be confined. First time to be IV’d, to be “dextrosed”. First time to pee in bed using a urinal (plastic bottle).  There will be other first times. I know that. First time to realize who cared the most when I could have been in my death bed.

I have been giving my time, my life, my spirit to the so-called advocacy.  And I regret not a moment of it. The room for improvement for the HIV program is so big that we need more capable, more cerebral, more passionate, and more empathetic community volunteers.

I have seen lives lost. But I have seen more lives saved through the years.

I turn 45 in a few months.  I have been going to the gym for the past 2 years, more religiously the past year.  I tried to be conscious with what I put in my mouth (pun intended) but this time, I have to be most conscious than ever.

12 years living with HIV. 45 years living. 12 years loving.

I am still here.

I am here.

 

About +daddy+drEw+

HIV awareness and treatment Advocate & Activist. Living with HIV since 2007. A friend. A partner. A dad to the HIV Community.
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2 Responses to 12years & 45old: I am Here

  1. Tosh says:

    I love you da

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