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.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day 6

I’m now on day 6 of my anti-retroviral treatment, and I have no big news to tell you. And that’s a good thing. I’ve been on Lamivudine+Zidovudine twice a day, and Nevirapine once a day.

I was wondering why I was given different meds from the other guy who was starting the same time I was. We had compared notes while at the RITM, and realized I got the Nevirapine which was notorious for rashes, while he got the Efaverenz which was known for dreams, nightmares and hallucinations. I was thinking to myself, “I want to dream, too!”, but just left it all up to fate.

It’s the Nevirapine that I was told to be wary of, because of some possible side effects. But so far, on a once a day dosage, nothing. No gagging, no vomiting, no diarrhea, no fever, no flu, no rashes.

One thing I noticed, is that I get hungry more easily since I started on the meds. It was so bad that I couldn’t wait to get home for dinner Friday night. I had to pass by the local Julie’s Bakery and get me a couple of pieces of bread which I chowed down on walking home. So might this make me put on weight? I hope so. This might just be the answer to my long standing problem of being a hardgainer.

At the RITM last Tuesday, the doctor asked me what time would be most convenient for me to take the meds. Once in the morning, once in the evening at a 12-hour interval. Initially I chose 6:30 am and 6:30 pm, imagining I’d take the meds after breakfast in the morning, and before leaving work in the evening. I eventually changed my mind, and decided on a 9:30 habit. So what happens is I take my meds in the morning while at work, and in the evening, just before going to bed.

The 9:30 habit was a good choice, as I noticed I didn’t feel anything unusual even while at work. Saturday night, though, I realized another side effect that Nevirapine may be having on me.

C, U, and I (Yes… surprise, surprise… C & U knew each other and didn’t tell me until recently… talk about connivance…) met up for some late snacks at the local mall yesterday evening, so for the first time since getting on ARVs, I was up past my usual bedtime of 10:00 pm. I just felt soooo sleepy after taking my medications, but not to the point of dizziness, as I was able to make my way home without problems. So in a couple of days, once I start taking the regular dose of Nevirapine, which is twice a day, I’ll have to figure out how to handle the drowsiness while at work.

U especially had been checking up on me regularly, having experienced the side effects of Nevirapine himself. He and C were both on Efaverenz themselves.

So for now, everything is good. I’m still able to work, still able to do chores, and still able to eat anything I want. Still no one can tell just by looking at me that I have HIV, nor that I’m on ARV medication. I still remain most wary about any signs of rashes. I constantly check my inner arms and forearms, where I am most fair and think that early signs of rashes will be most noticeable.

Watch out for my next big step.

7 comments:

Kiks said...

Hey.

I am taking Kaletra and Kivexa. Combivir got my red blood count low.

Wala pa akong masyadong alam sa mga gamot for HIV sa Pilipinas but it may be good to exchange notes.

****

I wonder, pwede kayang magkaron ng grand EB ng mga poz bloggers? Just a thought. A circle where people are free to talk about themselves and what they're going through. It may help.

PinoyPoz said...

i'm not exactly sure how many poz bloggers there are, and if we're all willing to be lured out of our closets. but honestly, i think it would be great.

the closest to a poz EB i've had is meeting with other patients and clients at the SLH and RITM. other than that, i still toy with the idea of having a Starbucks outlet outside the H4 ward of SLH, or in the courtyard of the RITM. exclusively for the poz. hehehe.

ako si dodong said...

This is the first time I bump into your blog. I know I shouldn't be, but I feel a twinge of sadness while reading each item. Your blog is more than a big help to all your readers. That's what everyone should be happy about! I see a lot of great things coming to you. (Manghuhula ba? Hahaha) What I'm trying to say is just keep that lovely smile on your face!

PinoyPoz said...

Thanks Madam Dodong! Hehehe... But seriously, thanks a lot for the support. This means a lot! :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being there and all the info. I'm 'enjoying' sharing your journey since I'm on it too.

I just wish that all the other guys that I am meeting (now 6) were strangers, but 4 were already friends and i have yet to really start my contact tracing (waiting for my bf's final test result whick will be latest by next week)

And yes, you are right about who I am. I left you my number at poz.com

Tony

chinoybrat said...

hey there POZ =)

got hooked reading your blog :)

kudos to you :)

hope you'll feel better :D

*hugs*

PinoyPoz said...

thanks chinoybrat! i need those hugs!