Dec 1, 2011

2011: A milestone

2011 is a personally significant year for me: it is the year that people I have personally known have died of AIDS.

In previous years, HIV/AIDS was a seemingly distant, though important, issue. Yes, I’ve been following several local blogs written by PLHIV or people living with HIV. Yes, I’ve been blogging about HIV/AIDS for quite sometime now. (In fact, this blog’s very first article had AIDS as one of its topics.) Yes, I’ve even written a couple of posts to mark December 1, or World AIDS Day. But it was only relatively recently that this issue has hit this close to home.

30 years after AIDS was first discovered, the effect of the growing incidence of HIV and AIDS among the local LGBT community is increasing in alarming amounts. What really bothers me is that I have this feeling that what’s happening now is similar to what happened in the United States back in the early 80s. You know that feeling of dread and fear? The feeling of hearing people, a friend, or a friend of a friend, dying of diseases that healthy people would have just sneezed at? The feeling of rising urgency brought on by alarming statistics? This should not be happening because of the benefit of retrospect and of lessons learned by lots of other people the hard way. Yet here we are.

I hope that all of the projects are making their mark and that more people are getting educated. I hope that the recent spike is just because more people are getting tested and that the numbers would stabilize soon. I hope that antiretroviral drugs would continue to be freely available to PLHIV. And I fervently hope that our biggest enemy, stigma—the one thing that really dampens our efforts to fight HIV/AIDS—would decline and never again rear its ugly head.


Anonymous wrote on December 4, 2011 at 11:37 AM:

it is so sad to have someone close to you acquire HIV or die of AIDS. an ex-boyfriend of mine passed away sometime in 2008 because of the virus. he could've been saved if only he were diagnosed earlier. meds are still free. i regret not being in the country to help him out. he has contributed a lot to what i am today...

around that same time, my best friend tested positive for HIV. we have been friends since high school and i still couldn't imagine now what i would do if things go downhill. he's taking his pills and i'm doing my best to keep him fit and healthy.

sometimes i think it is so unfair to have the HIV virus around. it is so difficult to find a loyal partner in the LGBT community as it is...and then here is a disease waiting for you to make just one mistake. you don't have to have 100 partners to have it. it takes only one unprotected sexual encounter. just one. sigh.

ps. this is my first time to read your blog. i like it. keep the posts coming :)

- acromion

Guyrony wrote on December 5, 2011 at 3:50 PM:

There, there Vince.

We all know that HIV does not spell death but other people thinks otherwise.

So we need to spread, spread the word as far as we can, explain and let people understand that there is hope.

Hope that a person with HIV can live long and fruitful.

Anonymous wrote on December 6, 2011 at 9:29 AM:

Hi I'm Ryan 26 years old..afraid that i might have HIV/AIDS..
Pls. help me...I'm afraid to get tested..sometime i was thinking to just finish my life...

taurus top wrote on December 6, 2011 at 11:44 AM:

this year 2011 alone, i have 4 friends who passed away because of it due to late detection.

yes its getting closer to home, the dreaded virus isnt going to stop spreading if people around us should know first for themselves if they are positive or not.
lets not be afraid of getting ourselves tested especially if we are sexually active with multiple partners or in a monogamous relationship.

to ryan 26 , you can get FREE HIV Test through RITM, please get in touch with ms beth (RITM) 09275303763, there is a RITM Clinic along leon guinto st malate manila, you dont have to worry, the doctors and nurses are very discreet and compassionate

to vince, thanks for keeping this blog, you have always been a source of good information to many.

let us be One Community who enjoy the bonding, who respects each other and who cares for one another...

love love love

Vince (Discreet Manila) wrote on January 6, 2012 at 12:23 AM:

@acromion, thanks! I’ll try to keep them coming. :)

@Guyrony, let’s indeed hope!

@Ryan, taurus top has provided some tips for you. You can also go to the Love Yourself Project to get counseling. Sometimes you just need to talk with someone.

@taurus top, thank you for sharing the information. Hopefully that can help Ryan and other people. :)