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.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Take the Test

please, please, pleaseThe last time I was there, my new friends at the Social Hygiene Clinic, Dr. Malou, Dr. Diana, and Nurse Luz asked me to help get the word out on getting tested. So here goes...

The Social Hygiene Center of the Manila Health Department continues to offer free HIV and other STI testing until further notice. Yes, guys, girls and everything in between... it's free. They intially had the free testing for the duration of March, but thanks to other sponsors, they continue to be able to offer it indefinitely. Please, please, please take advantage.

For those interested to check their HIV and reproductive health status, you can visit the Social Hygiene Clinic from Mondays to Thursdays from around 8:30 am to 3:00 pm, and on Friday mornings from 8:30 to 11:00 am. Sorry guys, they're closed on weekends and holidays.

Why do they want everyone to get tested? Because absolutely anyone exposed to the risks can get HIV. And there are no really reliable symptoms to tell that you have it. The only way to really know, is to get tested. It's not knowing that spreads the virus.

Look at me, I never thought I had it. You could never tell. But I did. Now that I know, I will make sure that the virus stops with me. Imagine how many others I might have endangered, had I not found out.

Just so you know, you will be asked to give your real name and a code name. Only your code name will be attached to the blood samples sent to the lab for testing. And only Dr. Malou has access to the files linking your real name with the code name. They know how delicate the situation can be, and how important anonymity is to us.

They will also give you pre- and post-test counselling, just so you're prepared and informed. Yes, you can ask questions. Results are claimed from Dr. Malou as well after a few days. She even gives her personal cellphone number so you can follow-up your results.

The Social Hygiene Clinic is located on the second floor of the Manila Health Department. It has a separate entrance on the right side of the building, so it's very discreet. The Manila Health Department is along Quiricada Street in Manila, across the San Lazaro Hospital main gate. The area is located between the LRT stations at Bambang and Tayuman. If you have other questions, you can call the Social Hygiene Clinic at (+632) 711-6942.

Please consider our plea. If you need someone to go there with you, let me know. I'd gladly help.

For everyone else not in Manila or the Philippines, think about doing it too in your own city or country.

Please, please, please. They're not there to judge us. They want the best for us. But they need our help. They care. We should, too.


Queers United said...

get tested people it takes a few minutes of your time which is much more reasonable than a life of pills and uncertainty and hardship

Beau said...

Hello there PinoiPoz :-) I reached your blogspot just last week, the day before I had my HIV test. I must admit that having read your stories made me scared & brave too at some points. Brave because I got more information on how HIV tests are done. And scared as well because I dont know for sure what would be the result.
During the HIV test, I was damn nervous and scared thinking what might happen to me if ever I was diagnozed positive. I couldnt sleep, I was so paranoid, anxious...everything! It was only until i saw my result that I was able to breathe..I tested negative, maybe I was just lucky this time.
For me, experiencing an HIV test was also feeling like an HIV positive. I think I must have felt what you have gone through during your tests. And I think I now better understand the situations and feelings of an HIV Pos person. I commend you PinoyPoz for being so so brave :-) Continue your enthusiastic view towards life and remember that alot of people are here to support you and love you :-)) Big Big HUGS to PinoyPoz HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM


PinoyPoz said...

Wow, thanks Beau! I'm proud of you for getting tested, and glad you're negative. Keep it that way! Hehehe. Thanks for the support :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi, i know how it feels, no i didn't go through an HIV test but my brother does, we accompany him to take the test because he was too scared, and yes, THE WAITING was like hell...we couldn't sleep, eat, and do the normal routine, and when the time comes, that we have to pick up the result, i didn't inform him that I am going to get the result, and as soon as i opened it and found it as NON-REACTIVE, i called our house right away, it's like a new life to my family. I admire your strength, and you'll be in my prayer even if i don't know you at all.

PinoyPoz said...

Thanks, whoever you are. That means a lot :-)