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.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


PositivismI’ve teased you a bit in a previous post about it. It had me talking to God and saying Thank You for so many things. It left me excited and inspired. And now, finally, finally, finally, I get to tell you what it’s all about.

When I first found out I was HIV positive, I headed immediately to the net. I knew about HIV even back in high school, but I realized knowing about it was one thing, understanding it was a whole different story. So I got online, trying to find someone, anyone, who had shared his or her story on being HIV positive here in the Philippines. I never knew anyone who was HIV positive. So I searched. But other than some news articles, research papers, and statistics, I came up empty handed.

I felt I was left in the dark, clueless about the road ahead, if there was any. Fortunately, I left myself open to the experience, overcoming the fear of not knowing what lies ahead. And trust me, that’s a big thing for me. I hate surprises. I hate not knowing.

So I wondered. How many others out there wanted or needed to know how it was to be HIV positive in the Philippines? And so, Back In The Closet was born. It started out as an outlet for me, but became a chance for others to learn about HIV in the Philippines. And people do want to know. The HIV positive, the HIV negative, the guys, the gals, the straight, the gay, and even some from overseas were contacting me and thanking me for sharing my journey. At that point, this became my advocacy. Awareness.

Not everyone was pleased with my decision. Some of the pusits were disgusted that I was giving out all this information, treating it like a breach of their privacy. Even the so-called HIV advocacy groups here were in on it. If I was Back In The Closet, they were In The Panic Room. It was sad. No wonder there is so much stigma attached to HIV. The stigma is fueled by the lack of understanding. And how can we expect to be understood, if we don’t share our story?

At first, I felt I was facing the challenge alone. Little did I know, that there was a small group being formed, ready to fight my same battle. And due to some unexpected but fortunate incidents, this very blog brought me to Positivism.

Positivism is an e-magazine – a website about HIV and being HIV positive in the Philippines. Yes, there will be articles on the basics of HIV, but rather than being encyclopedic, it will be a lighter presentation of the facts, to make it easy for anyone, especially the HIV negative and new pozzies, to understand.

These basics will actually take a backseat to the main features, which will be stories about living with HIV – both being infected and affected by HIV. We aim to show that the HIV-positive person is not just someone suffering or bedridden. We want the Philippines to realize that HIV-positive people can continue working, laughing, loving, and living.

I think that’s what makes Positivism different from the other HIV advocacy groups. We don’t just cater to the HIV positive. We aim to help all of the Philippines, and the world, open its eyes to HIV, so they can understand it... and us... better.

Positivism is a project of an advertising and visual design big boss, who is the brain, and not to mention the heart, behind Positivism. He has put his company’s resources into this advocacy, and opened his doors to us, the HIV positive. So yes, we have writers, editors, art directors, photographers, designers, marketing people and every expert there is, working on this project. And yes, it is a collaboration between the HIV positive and the HIV negative. The perfect combination.

Now you know what I’ve been so excited about, and what’s been fuelling my passion lately. We’ve been working hard at meeting our deadlines, and hope to launch in time for World AIDS Day, December 1st.

Fellow blogger Chronicles of E, who was also getting the flack for his advocacy, is in on this, too. We’ll be updating you more about it in the coming weeks.

Watch out for the new brand of HIV advocacy. Stir awareness. Eradicate stigma. Promote POSITIVISM.


Anonymous said...

fantastic!! way to go ;-) i'd like to do more than post comments one day

PinoyPoz said...

when you're ready, buddy... when you're ready... i'm pretty sure we'll be needing all the willing hands we can get :-)

E said...

tiny orgasm again! I'm so excited about our 1st issue!

we will be needing everybody's help to promote this e-magazine..I hope everybody supports this project...hindi na po to blog..ibang levels na po to! madami pong taong tumutulong at nagddonate ng oras at talent nila para mabuo to.

kami po walang talent pero nakikigulo lang..parang saling ket ket (joke) hahahaha!

B.I.T.C.H. and I are very passionate about this project, because this is what we have been waiting for for so long and finally, its going to materialize :-) GO GO GO POSITIVISM

PinoyPoz said...

Let's put it this way E... this is like your blog... plus my blog... exponentiated by steroids!!! Todo na 'to! :-)


BEAUTIFUL! i will support this magazine im into media also and i will give my 100% if you need me. im based in tokyo but will be shutlling manila often.

PinoyPoz said...

thanks for the support blackpool!

Anonymous said...

Dec 1 right? I'm looking forward for the launch :-D