Yes, I'm gay. I probably was since the day I was born. On my 21st birthday, I sort of had my debut. I came out to my parents. A little drama from mom, and some indifference from dad. An above-average coming out. Almost perfect.

Nine years later, two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out... I'M HIV POSITIVE.

And so my story begins... I'm BACK IN THE CLOSET.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

H4 Galore

waiting roomAnother big Thursday for me. I left around 7 am, but not before talking with K over the phone. He just called to send me off on what he thinks is another regular work day for me. Little did he know.

So I made it to the HIV ward of the San Lazaro Hospital a little past 8 am, had myself registered, and my vital signs taken. H4-2008-054. Weight is still the same, blood pressure normal, temperature was a bit high, I’m thinking because I had barely taken a breather before they sat me down to take it. But I was feeling fine.

I noticed some of those metal medical clipboards on the counter, probably records of those confined. I noticed that the patient codes were written on the top of the clipboards, one of which I read as H4-2008-059. I realized, geesh, at least five other people have already been diagnosed after me. And whoever this is, his condition has called for him to be confined. I’m pretty lucky then.

I walked into the waiting room, and sat down. There were three other guys already there. One of them I recognized to be the guy trying to smile at me when I was there two weeks ago. A bit surprising, since he has been checked-up at least twice this month already. He recognized me, smiled and went back to reading his newspaper. The four of us continued waiting since the doctors hadn’t arrived yet.

After a while, Y walked in and started chatting up with all of us there, who he knew apparently. It was nice to see a familiar face. He still treated me as the new kid, which was nice.

I heard voices from the reception counter, later on realizing it was the other doctor. She called for me, and instructed the nurse to hand me my referral slip for the CD4 count. I was pointed to the direction of the SACCL, short for STD/AIDS Central Cooperative Laboratory. Their name was also on my diagnostic results which I got last April. Apparently this is where most of the STD related tests are done, such as Hepatitis, HIV, Venereal Disease, etc.

But before going, I noticed the guy getting his vital signs taken, looking at me. He was cute. He seemed like an older guy, smaller, fair, manly, a bit stocky, dignified, and a bit shy. My type. I don’t know what his name is, but he was looking at me, and I was looking back. I still wasn’t hell bent at using the ward as a cruising place so I picked up my heels and just headed to the SACCL.

Walking to the next building, 8 or 9 people were waiting before me. I had to spill over to the waiting area outside the building where one other guy was. He asked me what I was there for, explaining he was there for a medical test for Hepatitis required for his application to the Philippine National Police. I don’t remember what I answered but I’m sure I couldn’t have been vaguer. Hahaha.

When it was the turn of the guy in front of me, I could hear from the voices in the lab that something was wrong. The guy first walked out with a cotton ball taped to his left arm. Going back in, he later walked out with another cotton ball on his right arm. Still they weren’t done. I don’t know where the hell else they took his blood, but this was scaring me quite a bit already!

Then my turn came. Oddly enough, they asked me to write my real name on the referral form, contrary to what I believed was a confidentiality law for HIV infected persons. If I were a fraction of sensitive and defensive, I would’ve put up a fight. But I wasn’t, so I penned my name away.

Then I saw the needle. It was bigger than my usual and it hurt going in. Then I felt the lady pushing and pulling and wiggling it around in there. My blood wasn’t flowing?! It was a problem with some adaptor they were using. It was hurting like hell! I’m still squirming right now recalling the pain. Then she just said sorry and pulled it out. Next arm. She had left me with a big red pock on my left arm, and had no blood to show for it. Thankfully she got it on the second try. I’ll need my phobia to heal again after this.

So anyways, I headed back to the ward, half wishing I’d catch “the guy” still there. I went in to see my doctor in the doctors’ office for less than 3 minutes, faced another one of her pity-faced are-you-sure-you’re-okays, and headed out. I didn’t see him there. I wasn’t sure, but good thing I waited because he had been talking with the other doctor the same time I was inside. So anyways, I saw him again, we exchanged nods a bit, but never talked. Y felt the need to keep me company, so I didn’t get the chance to work the guy over. I hope I bump into him there again sometime.

I’m beginning to look forward to San Lazaro. I’ll be back at the ward next Thursday, mostly to discuss my CD4 results with the doctor, but partly hoping to meet more pozzies as well. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll see “him” there again. Man, I’m a slut!


thonnibg said...

Sorry to hear you had to go thru all the pain.I hate needles too:)

But I hope the results will be fine!!Fingers crossed.

Hugs to my slut:)*winks*

gibo said...

i did a search and found ur blog... i like your positive outlook (no pun intended)... below is a link to another poz guy...he's a friend of mine. like you, he's proud and brave. i will also add u in my blogroll.



PinoyPoz said...

@ toni, thanks!!! hahaha, someone actually claimed ownership to the slut?! hehehe.

@ gibo, thanks too!!! i appreciate that!