I’ve been following and reading a few blogs from fellow PLUs who are HIV-positive. Two of the most active are Back in the Closet and The Chronicles of E. The latter didn’t actually start out as a blog about living with HIV—the positive result came during the blog’s lifetime (see this post and this follow-up). Two other Pinoy HIV blogs are I have HIV! and Confessions of A Pinoy HIV plus (+) though these two are long not updated.
HIV and AIDS is a scary thing. Though I consider myself quite informed about the subject (i.e., I know more than the fact that you don’t get AIDS from toilet seats and the fact that the Philippines is considered as one of the low-prevalence countries, having less than 0.1% of the population infected even with liberal estimates), the reality of living with HIV is quite an alien thing for me. Even with what I know, the information is far too sterile and clinical and it doesn't reflect the fact that HIV/AIDS is a growing problem and that Filipinos need to see the reality of it. Reading these blogs gave me the much needed perspective about such a taboo area and one thing I’ve learned is that many HIV-positive people in the Philippines get antiretroviral medications for free from government-run medical institutions. This is a good thing since these drugs are very expensive.
One good thing that is coming out from this increased awareness about HIV and AIDS through the local PLU blogosphere is the teaser launch of Positivism, an e-zine that aims to combat the stigma and discrimination (that’s much worse than PLU discrimination) attached to HIV-positive people. This is one really commendable project and I look forward to seeing these people, whether HIV-positive or negative, succeed.