Sunday, May 3, 2015

Avengers Weekend

Last week was the weekend before Labor Day. It was an Avengers weekend. All cinemas were literally showing The Avengers! So, I bought my tickets online. Seats for 2, reserved! While watching, I tried to recall when my last movie in a cinema was? Hmmm.. guess what? It was a year ago! Another Marvel hero movie, Captain America! Huwaat? So only one cinema last year? 

How about the year before? Ohhhh... it was another Marvel movie, on Labor Day of 2013! Yes, that’s right! it was another Marvel movie. I remember clearly! That was my last movie before AIDS attacked me so hard! I remember clearly that I was breathing hard when I walked up the cinema stairs. Misdiagnosed by my “not so good” ex-Med City doctor as asthma, which turned out to be an AIDS-related pneumonia. Anyway, that’s already past! I have a lengthy blog on that. 

Now, 2 years after my HIV diagnosis, here I am again, in a cinema on a pre-Labor Day weekend. But things are so… so different now!

So many things happened in 2 years... like a movie climax, stretched in 2 long years. Peaks and valleys of my life. I had several AIDS infections (OI's). I filed a 6-month medical leave. I’ve recovered from my illnesses. I have gained my lost weight. Ugly skin's dark spots disappeared. Lost some loved ones. But the biggest difference of them all - I now know I’m positive.

Yes, I'm positive. But believe it or not, I have more peace of mind now than ever. Three years ago (a year before my diagnosis), I was so restless. Even if I still didn't have any OI's then, at the back of my mind, there's this lingering thought that had constantly been bothering me. That I could be positive! Yet, despite that, I refused to have the "Test." I feared ELISA so much! For I thought HIV means death (which is certainly not!). And if I were positive, how would I tell my partner? My family? And the stigma that follows... unimaginable! The mere thought of it was giving me so much stress!

Now, I'm positive. Confirmed. And I know it. Yet I’m more at peace than my pre-diagnosis years. For my virus is now under control. Thanks to ARV, viral load is already undetectable. Immune system (CD4)  has recovered. All the stuff that I stopped doing due to my Stage 4 AIDS and my very low CD4 have gone completely back… mall, badminton, gym, work, travel!

And most of all... what gave me peace was the acceptance and support I got from my family, partner and 4 close friends. I underestimated their capacity to understand and accept me unconditionally. 3 years back, I was so restless. Now, I'm a person living with HIV.  Yet, all fears are gone. I love my peace now!  I should have taken that HIV test long before my HIV became AIDS. I shouldn't have been bothered, worried, restless, "out of peace" all those years! I could have avoided those serious and costly OI's which could have taken my life. That's my grave mistake, I know! As for the others, they need not go my way. Free HIV test is in all corners of the country!




Oh, by the way, did I say that The Avengers was such a borta feast? The bods of Thor and Captain America... Fuck! Even Jeremy Renner and Robert Downey Jr., pwede pa rin :)