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.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Changes

butterflyIt’s been a neutral weekend. With the typhoon that just hit Manila, it more or less kept me cooped up at home, which is not such a bad thing for me. I spent most of the weekend lazing around and stuffing myself. The power outages didn’t help though.

I realize that the weather will now be a constant battle for me. There will always be the fear of being more susceptible to coughs and colds due to the HIV. I will need to stay dry, stay warm and stay healthy. Not quite far from my usual.

I’m the type of guy who always has an umbrella in his bag just in case. I am also the type, though, who will wade through floods, not afraid of getting wet. That will probably have to change. Just this weekend, being the “man” of the house, I needed to do some work outdoors, sweeping up the debris and clearing out the drainages in the middle of the rain. I tried to keep dry with an umbrella, but with the wind and all, a tough act. I don’t currently have an alibi to get out of the work around the house, that won’t make me look bratty or lazy.

I started pondering on the issue of adjustments when someone asked me what changes I had made since finding out that I had HIV.

Strikingly, sexual activity has taken a steep decline. Unsafe practices down to zero. Flirting on the net is now confined to mere flirting. Just trying to keep my online persona alive, fading out slowly in the following months, I expect. Other forms of sexuality, more focused on self-satisfaction continue as usual, or have probably increased as substitutes to actual contact.

Other lifestyle issues like vices came to mind. Smoking is not a problem with me, as I don’t smoke. I’ve never been the type to be disgusted with smokers, and have never had problems hanging out with them. I will just have to be cautious probably of second-hand smoke. I’ve never been a frequent drinker. Although I did inherit and develop a high tolerance for alcohol, thanks to my father’s habits. So a big drinker, I am, but a frequent drinker, I am not. But still I’ll have to cut down further. Probably have to have an excuse ready, like allergies or something.

As for other activities, nothing much has changed. I still take the commute to work. I still am able to walk 30 minutes a day to and from the transportation routes. I still eat the usual stuff, although I’ve been advised to stay away from uncooked food, such as Japanese stuff and even fresh salads. My guard is up, though, against any signs of diarrhea. I need to be cautious of that. Hygiene will also be important. More than before, that is. I’ve always wanted to work out, but never had the guts to. This might just be enough reason and opportunity for me to consider it seriously. Rest has always been important to me, and being a true blue eight-hour sleeper is a huge advantage for me now.

Looking through my list makes me look shallow and so short-sighted. But that’s how it is now. I can’t be so far-sighted. Long term plans are virtually non-existent, as my whole existence itself hangs in the balance. So for now, short term seems to be the immediate concern. I work to eat, and eat to live. And I live in the day. Because essentially, that’s what I want to do, just live. Even if it happens to be a short life, I will live it.

6 comments:

YAJNAT said...

beautiful realization...keep it up...

Alex said...

I don't really know if I am a Poz, because my last HIV Test was 10 years ago when I worked in a hospital in the United States. I have examined Poz patients (every Thursday afternoon)back in the US and they are as "normal" as anyone you meet. You can be in an elevator with a Poz patient without you ever knowing it, well, at least up until full-blown AIDS sets in.

Like you, I have had my moments of unsafe behavior, even after those negative tests. Reading your Blogs gives me a lot of insight on what one is going through one's mind when confronted with being a Poz. I have never felt as close to any Poz as I feel now, reading your blogs. Weird, di ba?

I don't know you personally, but believe me, I want to hug you and comfort you during times when I feel your pain while reading your Blogs... for whatever its worth.

You have my prayers and though we do not know each other, please include me as one of your anonymous friends. Absurd as it may sound, I dare say that I am here with you through your travails...

PinoyPoz said...

Thanks Yajnat... And thanks too Alex, I was really touched by what you wrote. I am humbled to know that I touch some lives out there such as your own, but really, it's only a fraction of how much you guys touch my life. I cannot express how much you're really helping me get through this. Thank you, thank you and thank you.

thonnibg said...

Hehe,I totally understand Alex,I felt the same after I read all your entries,Pinoy.
But you know that!:)*winks*

Hugs as always

Imhereforyou said...

Hi pinoypoz! Kamusta ka po? I hope I could get your email so I could chat with you sometime! I was like visiting your blogsite 2-3 times a day checkin' out if youre okay. I'll give you my email address: gream09@yahoo.com! I'm always online we could chat. Ayaw kong malungkot ka. Kwentuhan tayo ha! Ill wait for your buzz.

PS
You can create a separate ym acct for your confidentiality pero I hope you will trust me...

Imhereforyou....

PinoyPoz said...

Toni, toni, toni... you never fail to put a smile on my face...

Hey imhereforyou... I'm doing good right now, thanks to all you guys. I would love to chat with you. Actually if you searched a bit harder, you would've found my e-mail addy on my profile page hehehe, but I appreciate your asking. So I took the liberty of adding you to my contacts. Catch you online sometime :-) Thanks again everyone...