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.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Happy Birthday???

birthday cakeBefore anything else, Happy Birthday to me!

It’s 9:30 am, and I feel like I’m done for the day. I’ve been busy since midnight. Busy doing what? Fasting. I was asleep, but I wasn’t sleeping. I was resting my body in order to avoid feeling the hunger. And why was I fasting? In preparation for the blood test that were scheduled for me today.

I was out of the house by 6:30 am, in order to reach the Manila Health Department just in time for its opening. I got there early as usual, and sat in the waiting area. Already I was number 15 in the line, all the rest of the people there were women, mostly the older set. What I hate about women, is that they’re chatty, to the point of being nosey. One lady sat beside me just couldn’t help herself and had to ask what I was in there for. Awkward! I just said I was having lab work done and being worked up for an operation on my colon. Geesh. I hope she bought it.

What exactly was I there for? I was there because I needed data. I was there because I’m getting to the point of paranoia, where I worry that every cough, every sneeze, every sore, every rash, every time I felt tired was some sort of bad sign of my HIV condition. All that thinking is stressful, and I just needed to know exactly what was what.

I’m hoping my sharing with you provides you awareness, which could relieve the mysteries behind this condition. Replace the fear, with understanding.

So anyways, here were the tests done:

  • CBC or Complete Blood Count, which is a measure of the health of your blood, including the quality and quantity of its white and red blood cells, as well as platelets.
  • FBS or Fasting Blood Sugar, measures blood glucose and is often the first test done to check for diabetes.
  • BUN or Blood Urea Nitrogen test measures the amount of nitrogen in your blood and is a test of how well your kidneys are working.
  • CREA or Creatinine blood tests are also done to assess kidney function.
  • SGPT or Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase test is a liver function test. Abnormally high levels of this enzyme in the blood indicate liver disease or damage.
  • SGOT or Serum Glutamic Oxalacetic Transaminase test is also a liver function test. Similarly, abnormally high levels in the blood indicate liver disease or damage.
  • ALP or Alkaline Phosphatase test detects liver disease. Often, ALP is high in persons who have cancer that has spread to the liver or the bones.
I’m done… almost. Also performed were the following:
  • RPR or Rapid Plasma Reagin test, a non-specific test for syphilis, and finally…
  • TPHA or Treponema Pallidum Heamagglumation Assay, also a test for syphilis.
Wasn’t that a mouthful? And take note that these are ALL blood tests. So could you imagine how much blood was extracted from me for all these tests? Even I couldn’t. Especially when the doctor who extracted blood from me looked at my list of tests and let out a horrific cackle, saying “Wow, this’ll be a lot of blood!” That just did not help. This doctor needs tact classes. Let me give you a hint. They took blood from both my arms. Hell for a needlephobic like me. But I took it.

So there, that’s one unforgettable birthday for me. My results should be out by tomorrow, but I don’t think I’ll be able to make it out. I need to work. I’ll try to get them Thursday, and bring them to the doctor at the HIV ward of San Lazaro.

I wonder what next year’s birthday will be like for me… hmmm...


Sh@ney said...

Happy Birthday!!
I am sure next year will be so much more pleasant!...xoxo

PinoyPoz said...

Thanks! I'm thinking that chances are, it can't get much worse! Woohoo!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday...

You are brave... stay will be okey...

God Bles

Anonymous said...

how much did you pay?

PinoyPoz said...

Because I got most of these tests done at the Manila Social Hygiene Clinic, where I was diagnosed with HIV, they gave me a 50% downpayment for the tests for being their "HIV baby". Hehehe. I think I spent more or less PhP 500.00 for everything you see here.