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The thing inside of me

Living with this virus sucks. But I choose to fight. And live a happy, healthy life.

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I’m living with a virus inside my body. And whether I like it or not, it looks like it’s going to be this way for the rest of my life.

Yep, I’m talking about the virus–the human immunodeficiency kind. It sucks and it got me depressed for a while. But I’ve always been a fighter, so I’ll fight.

Let me tell you a little something about myself, without giving away too much. I’m in my 30s, an urban professional who is very active in sports.

I got diagnosed May 2016. It was supposed to be a routine test with a friend who convinced me to finally give it a go. I never wanted to get tested because I was always afraid of the result. But there I was–first time tester, tested reactive.

It took me awhile, eight months to be exact, to get out of the denial stage (I’ll talk about this on a separate note). But I finally managed to drag my ass to seek treatment in January 2017.

As I write this, I’ve been going back and forth to the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang for tests and treatments (again, more on this in future posts). I was there a total of four times in January (details to follow).

I’m writing this article mainly because I want to be able to show it to my friends and family when the time comes. At the moment, only one friend (who we will call MG) knows about my status because he was with me during the test.

I’m the type of person who talks about life challenges to my closest friends so keeping this as a secret to my best buddies is extremely hard. Every time I see them and not tell them about what’s going on in my life makes me feel like a fraud.

I have no desire to broadcast to the world about my status, certainly not to my family if I could help it. But I’d like to be able to share to a couple of close friends who I know will understand and support me, without judgment, just like MG, along the way.

I know I’ll eventually tell them. I’m just waiting for the right time. When I do, I’ll show them this article so they can still somehow feel they’ve been a part of my journey from the start. Of course, I’d like to share my experience with YOU!

Please get tested right away. It’s hard to tell when the virus has infected me, but based on my CD4 count (more on this later), it looks like I have had it for a while. Looking back, if there was any regret, it is that I got tested later, rather than sooner. Don’t wait until the virus has done damage to you before you seek help, because it WILL wreak havok, as it has to me.

That’s it for me now. I promise to update you with more of what’s happening with me as I learn how to live with his unwanted thing inside my body. Til then!