I asked you earlier, “What were your struggles (the past year)?”
Issues sa work kasi kumalat ung status ko. (Issues at work when people talked about my status)
O.I.s. PTB, oral thrush, sa Family hndi maintindihan ng parents ko ung condition ko at wala akong choice kasi ako lang ang bumubuhay sa knila.. Naconfined din ako sa RITM ng one week. (The family didn’t understand my condition and I had no choice since I was the breadwinner. I was also confined for a week in RITM)
Maraming mga friends ang nandiri at natakot nung nalaman ung status ko pero nung pinasok ko ang adbokasiya ginamit ko un para magbago ang pananaw nila sa hiv. (Many friends found my status repugnant and they were afraid of me, but when I went into the advocacy, I used my status to change their views)
Nung mga panahong pataas na ang kerera ko sa Work… bgla akong nadiagnose wala akong choice kundi igive up at magpahinga dahl mat mga multiple ois ako. (The times when my career was at its peak and I was with a TV station, I had no choice but to quit so I can rest because of multiple opportunistic infections)
You still find yourself depressed from time to time, especially when people you know die from (alleged) AIDS-related conditions. You doubt your courage and find yourself looking for answers. Answers to questions that deep inside, you know the answers to.
Last Tuesday, you got home late in the evening from work and you couldn’t sleep. You went on to travel up north from south of Manila to conduct community-based screening for an activity of the Dangal LGBT network. Afterwards you met me at Starbucks for some coffee and catching up. Then you had to force yourself to attend a meeting– a meeting that you had to attend so you can speak in behalf of the others at work– a meeting that you had to attend because others cannot voice their thoughts out. Then you went on stage to work, to sing and to make people laugh.
All without your much needed rest.
You were diagnosed in 2015. Your CD4 then was 24. You had shingles. You had O.I.s.
Your latest CD4 is at 324. You are healthy. You make people laugh. You entertain people. You serve the HIV community.
You have been through hell and you fought your hardest, and today, you bring smile to people at work, you bring laughter to your audience, and you bring hope to others in the HIV community. Doubt no more, you have traveled so far and your journey is far from over. You will bring inspiration to others. You have reached out to your peers. You have touched the lives of strangers. You will continue to help others.
You have done well. You will do more good.
I’m a fan.
Love, Daddy Drew
For questions, kindly email HASHCOMMUNITYOPERATIONS@gmail.com