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, June 19, 2008

The Little Birdie

Big BirdI’ve just had my first official sleepless night. Did something happen? Definitely. Good or bad? I can’t really say.

I’ve been quizzing myself every so often with my What-ifs. One of them was What if I didn’t break up with my last boyfriend? I always wondered if things would’ve been better if I swallowed my pride, just gave him the liberty to fool around behind my back, and stayed together with him. Would this have prevented me from catching the bug? Last night, my question was suddenly answered.

Let’s just say I heard it through the grapevine. A little birdie told me. Well, technically, not exactly little. Impressive actually. I had bumped into this little birdie a couple of times before, but never really became more than just acquaintances. We really had only one real common link between us, which was my ex. The little birdie told me we needed to meet and talk in person, the sooner, the better for me according to him. Next week wasn’t even soon enough. Hmm. The little birdie really got me thinking what this was all about.

So last night, we decided the quickest way was to talk over the phone. After the initial pleasantries, the little birdie came to its mission. I had heard from my ex that he was recovering from a medical procedure performed on him. But the little birdie had more to the story. Apparently, the medical personnel were baffled by the ex’s infection that wasn’t responding to the medication. So baffled that they needed to rule it out. So they did the test. And yes, he was HIV positive. Although the thought had grazed my mind due to the little birdie’s sense of urgency to meet, at that point, I still was a bit shocked.

It was at this point that the little birdie said that I should get myself tested as well. The little birdie had gotten its test too, which was definitively negative since they had not had contact since years and years ago. So I then blurted out that I was done with the test, and admitted I was positive as well. I may just have shocked the little birdie a bit, but definitely made its job much easier. He now understood why I knew so much about HIV and was less shocked than expected.

Apparently the ex was tested around the end of April, shortly after I got my result. He had also been to the H4 Ward at the San Lazaro Hospital. But I imagine that I may have gotten my patient number before he did. My mind went back to the medical chart of 059 who got confined at the H4. Maybe that was him.

He wasn’t simply just positive like I was. He was positive to the point of infections in the mouth and lower extremities. So bad that he was in crippling pain. His CD4 count was in the double digits. In other words, he categorically had AIDS. He was still too weak to start on ARVs. I know my chest was throbbing just trying to imagine his condition. It scared me to be honest.

I haven’t really been pondering too much on who I possibly got this from, but it never struck me to go as far as my last ex. We had known each other since September of 2005, and split up after almost 2 years together. It was after that I decided I’d enjoy singlehood for a change and let loose. So it was always that time after that relationship that I considered as my most risky.

It’s definitely presumptuous of me to think that I got it from him. For all we know, he may have gotten it from me. Or our infections may not even be directly linked, and just be coincidental. Only heaven knows.

For now, nothing much changes. I'm even more thankful now for the relatively fortunate condition I am in. Just a lot more to think about. I appreciate the effort the little birdie made to tell me. It was just concerned and bothered by its conscience. But don’t expect any confrontations to take place between me and the ex, because technically I should not know anything about it. I just hope he gets better. As for the little birdie, just as my secret is safe with it, its secret is safe with me.

Fly away little birdie… and thank you.


thonnibg said...

Wow,what a news!But how do you feel now knowing about that,Pinoy?
Is this a kind of relief,I mean is this an answer of some of your questions to yourself?

Hugs as always

PinoyPoz said...

Not completely. It does leave me with one additional possibility as to where I got it, but that's all, I guess.

I thought it may be nice to have someone familiar to through this with... someone who has it too, I mean... but from what I've heard, he's not taking it too well and has become fatalistic and vengeful. That's always sad.

I'm hoping I don't go through that stage ever... And really Toni, the support from you guys has helped me so much. Thanks :-)

Anonymous said...

this anonymous. what's the point on detecting the blamed? this is not a blaming game. this is the outcome of your sexlife. all you have to do, is to be there on your ex. atleast you dont need to tell it first to your love ones. give support on your ex. and he may be your angel when time comes. if your hurt, his burden is more hard on his situation.

PinoyPoz said...

Hi again anonymous. You must have read me wrong, because I never said anything about blaming anybody. The importance of knowing from whom I got this is that it could define the time frame I need to work back to, in order to know who I had contact with after getting it. And it will be these people who will need to get tested for their own sake. I believe the experts call this contact tracing. No blaming involved.

As for supporting him, it will never be purely my choice. It will always be under his control who gets to know. He may not want or need support from everyone who is willing to give it. HIV and AIDS are very sensitive conditions for one to be in. My hurt is not an issue, if I am hurt at all. :-)

Anonymous said...

ang labo naman ni anonymous! please dont post comments if you dont understand what you are reading. hay...

anyways, i wish i had stumbled upon your blog way before. im just happy im reading through it now. just wanna let you know that you have my support and advocacy to spread the word on hiv/aids. :)

PinoyPoz said...

hahaha, lucida! when i got that comment, i actually had to read my entry again and figure out where he got those ideas. i'm still clueless until now. hehehe.

thanks lucid, for taking time to read through. :-)