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, September 23, 2008


disgustedI’d been invited to attend a seminar last week, hosted by one of the HIV-advocacy-slash-support groups. I was told it would start last Thursday, and deal with ARV handling for the HIV positive as myself.

In as much as I had wanted to spend time with others like me living with HIV, and learn more essentials on ARV handling, which could not have come at a more proper time, I declined, pointing out that I had been on leave almost the whole of the previous week due to the allergic reactions to Nevirapine, and needed to catch up on work. My loss… supposedly.

Aside from that, I had my doubts from the get-go, wondering why it would need to last between three and five days, and why it was to be held in a resort out of town. My instincts could not have been more accurate.

I had heard feedback from one guy who had attended the event. Hearing words like “kissing”, “walk-out” and “petting” to describe the goings-on was shocking enough. I don’t mean to play goodie-two-shoes, or claim to be a virgin or an angel, especially since I’ve been so vocal about having been tempted to get flirty around the HIV ward at San Lazaro. But I couldn’t understand how this could become a venue for such actions. It baffled me why they needed to hide things behind the guise of a “seminar”, and why they didn’t just advertise it as a flirtfest to begin with. And what other things beyond flirting that may have happened, only God knows. Maybe they should’ve just held it in some bath house or motel to make things easier.

Even more shocking, was hearing the words “drinking”, “drunk”, and “puking” to describe other events in the evenings of the so-called seminar. Call me killjoy, but I distinctly remember every doctor’s reminders to HIV-positive little me to stay away from vices such as smoking, drugs and drinking. So are these so-called advocacy groups fostering venues for temptations and peer pressures that people like me should especially be staying away from?

I acknowledge that the organizers cannot control the actions of every individual there, but I believe they could’ve held the “seminar” in a more proper venue, and confined it to more decent hours to avoid such happenings.

Fine, maybe the participants did learn a lot about handling ARVs, but isn't this like taking one step forward and two steps back?

Needless to say, I don’t regret not being able to attend the seminar.

Advocacy is defined as “Pushing forth a cause or creating a defense to protect the beliefs of self or others”. It’s just sad to realize that this could be the kind of “advocacy” that these so-called advocacy groups are pushing, when they should be steering people like me onto the right path.

These are the times that drive me back into my closet. Whatever ARV information I’ll need, I’ll just get from my doctor.


E said...

oh my ehehehe..awkward hehehehehe..Like you I declined the invitation to attend the seminar and yes, I've heard some stories about happened there...

Lets give them the benefit of a doubt baka naman may natutunan talaga sila dun aside from partying hehehehehe...

I wanted to attend the seminar however I couldn't see the logic why it has to be in a resort so I will just sign up for the next batch-I heard it will no longer be an overnight event-uwian din... have a point, why not have a "HIV ORGY DAY"--KIDDIN!!! Madami nanaman magrereact nyan HAHAHAHAHAHHAH!!

PinoyPoz said...

I know, I'm prepared for everyone's wrath. I just stated my opinion. Glad to hear atleast one person shares some of my sentiments... This just really left me shaking my head in disbelief.

HIVPOS27 said...

Yes I heard about the seminar last weekend and the things that happened there. I'm not siding with the organizers but I guess there are really people who don't care about the sake of their companions. Don't you think that your friend is exaggerating the senario? The things that you know might just be a hearsay from your friend. In the first place the goal of the organization is good but there are some people who went beyond that and that reflects to the whole group.

Wag naman sana natin ilahat kasi kawawa naman yung iba. Tayo tayo na lang nagsi siraan pa tayo di ba.
Just an opinion.

PinoyPoz said...

I dunno... The mere fact that there is something to exaggerate is bothering...

Anonymous said...

i beleive that no one should judge onother persons action. in the group that i joined in, we are encouraged to use the words "in my opinion", "i think", "i beleive", in order to sound not judgemental towards others. however, this is your personal blog, and in my opinion, you are entitled to say what you beleive.
in my opinion, the organizers should have encouraged health promoting activities all along.
whatever transpired after each daily activities cannot be contolled by the organizers, but, i believe, should have been discouraged.
keep blogging pp. our discussions are very informative and life affirming.
be well

chocolate chips

PinoyPoz said...

thanks chocolate chips... yeah i guess this being my blog, these are precisely what I think and believe. but thanks for the tip. i know i could not sound anything else but judgmental, but i just want this to be a shout out to these advocacy groups to hold more responsibility over their participants during events such as these.