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.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Dying Young

A nineteen-year old nursing student made the rounds of the media to tell his story of testing positive for HIV the year before, and expose how he contracted HIV from an internet chatmate-slash-boyfriend with whom he had unprotected sex.

The age of nineteen and the apparent certainty from whom he got it is shocking enough. But consider this all was happening... way back in 2006. Gasp.

It had been two good years before I tested positive myself. I had not read or heard anything about this kid, nor his story. Not until last year, at least. Let’s call him DyingYoung.

A name like "DyingYoung" sounds fatalistic indeed, not something I personally would encourage others like us to call themselves. He actually christened himself as DyingYoung on one of the gay personals sites which he haunts regularly, spreading information about HIV & AIDS. And that’s exactly where I first encountered his odd username.

Unbeknownst to him, I actually credit him in part for my getting tested, because I had seen some of his postings in the forums about the free HIV testing at the Manila Social Hygiene Clinic. I never got in touch with him personally, but I saved all the information I needed from his posts.

God bless this kid for sharing all that information over the internet. Most of what I remember from his posts about HIV was geared towards medical information, statistics, and really in-your-face shock-you-silly stuff, which was honestly a bit much to swallow at times, especially considering I may have been ignoring the risks at the time. But it was a good start, I guess. Someone had to do it.

Now, our paths have crossed again, as he has stumbled upon Positivism, and is thankfully elated with the work that’s been done. He had sent a note which we published in this latest issue, which one of our other writers was actually hesitant to include just based on the name "DyingYoung". But I just needed explained how much of a recall DyingYoung had, and how much of an advocate he was, over and above the fatalism that his name seemed to send, and I had won her over. I was honored to have the chance to answer that letter.

Visit DyingYoung’s blog, where, although not recently updated, he has posted the newspaper articles and even a radio interview that featured him back in 2006. You can also listen to the radio interview here.

Watch out, we might be lucky enough to see and hear more from DyingYoung soon...


wanderingcommuter said...

i am pretty aware of his story though i havent read/ heard the complete details. thanks for sharing this one!

PinoyPoz said...

you're welcome, wandy!

Anonymous said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

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