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.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Stop the Party

Remember that thing I mentioned about the Lifeline Emergency Quick Response Program? Well, I received their membership form by mail recently. I should be happy, right? SHOULD...

But now I realize that...

I may just have celebrated too soon.

Again, I saw the envelope as soon as I got home from work, and of course, I knew what it was supposed to be. So even before I changed from my work clothes, I sat down and took the form out, eager to see how easy it would be. And then my excitement died down.

Basically there were just ten groups of questions I needed to answer. Not too bad really. Let me take you through it.

10. Basic Information? Name; Date of birth; Gender; Civil Status. Expected.

9. Permanent Address? Complete address; Phone, fax and mobile numbers; E-mail address. Cool.

8. Employment? Company name; Designation; Complete address; Phone, fax and mobile numbers; E-mail address. Okay.

7. Hospital? Hospital name; Attending Physician; Complete address. I admit, I gave this some thought... Nothing wrong with naming the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and Dra. Ditangco as my preferred hospital and physician, right?

6. History of Past Diseases? None.

5. Previous Operations? None... unless circumcisions count.

4. Allergies? None.

3. Family Diseases? Hmm, my dad had it all... Diabetes, Heart disease, Cancer.

2. Habits? Smoking; Alcohol; Drugs. No, yes, and no.

It was easier than I expected... until...

1. Present Illnesses and Medications? O.M.G....

Okay, I told myself not to panic. I needed to calm down. Putting down Syphilis wouldn’t be so bad. Listing Hepatitis B could actually explain my Lamivudine and Tenofovir medications. But HIV? Should I tell them I have HIV?

Somehow, reading that All information contained herein will be confidential just wasn’t enough. Can I actually withhold that information?

I hereby certify the truth of all representation made in this application, and acknowledge that the Lifeline service agreement may otherwise be invalidated with costs chargeable to me. Okay, that’s a huge risk.

I further authorize any physician, clinic or hospital where I have been treated to disclose and provide the company with the medical, dental or clinic findings relative to the medical representative above. Geesh, so they’ll find out eventually? There goes that option.

Please fill out the form at your earliest convenience, as it will provide us with accurate and pertinent information regarding your medical history and will greatly facilitate your efficient care. Hmm, admittedly, that’s a good reason to disclose.

Well, if they ever happen to fail on their provision of service just because of my having HIV, I can always cite the clause in their website that says No exclusion for pre-existing conditions. Or I can take them to court for discrimination under R.A. 8504. Interesting. Stressful... and extremely paranoid of me... but interesting.

So after giving it some thought, I decided. Fine. A few more people will be added to my those-who-know list... and I won’t even know who exactly these people are. This will be another case of the-benefit-of-the-doubt.

Will I regret doing this? I don't know. But I'll do it. I'm going to be holding my breath. Celebration postponed until further notice.


Herbs D. said...

you need a hug *HUGSIES*
its like coming out while already coming out. what a fucker.

hope you'll pass :)

Anonymous said...

You did the right thing by disclosing your status.

If you haven't disclosed that, they will take it against you and they have the right not to pay.

I worked for an insurance company before so I know these things...

If something negative happens, you can sue them. Let me review the policy so I can check it out. :D


The Green Man said...

Friend... does your company provide philhealth card or medicard? It's just something like that... you don't need to disclose anything until they're injecting you with something that would react with your HIV and meds.

I think you shouldn't disclose it yet...

But signing the form stating you were 100% honest... that would post a concern.

What do you think?

But the website notation and the RA should be enough for them to give you that discounted service.

Turismoboi said...

papaza ka!

Anonymous said...

huy pekpek!

I think you need to disclose your HIV status. AXA life insurance asks their prospective clients to get tested for HIV. I often hear their agent discussing this when I'm at Metrobank.

- Jin Jin

PinoyPoz said...

@HerbsD & TurismoBoi: Thankfully, this isn't something like a medical exam that one passes or fails. As long as I pay and live up to my part of the agreement, then I deserve the coverage.

@GreenMan: I see this as giving myself the advantage by providing them all the information they may need to provide me the proper care. Difference with Philhealth is that they don't have (or need?) records of a member's pre-existing conditions.

@JinJin: Pekpek ka rin! Hehehe. Thanks!

@RubyPurple: Sige I'll show you. Not much in their terms and conditions, mostly probably because their services end upon endorsement to the receiving medical facility. Thanks!