One of the most prominent ways in order for college professors to give their students a high grade is a research paper or a thesis containing a topic untouched by many. This is what transpired for the past few months of seeing students from different universities, come and go at the drop-in centers of Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI).
Contributed by: Renee (Malate, Manila: April 7, 2014)
Image Source: rayannesthoughts.blogspot.com
I was given the opportunity to share my story to several doctors, midwives and nurses for a Tuberculosis and HIV Collaboration Seminar in Angeles, Pampanga last week. By the time I entered the venue I have no idea what to expect since that was only my second time to disclose about my situation. I was nervous and shaking. One doctor even asked me to keep it natural and relaxed.
It feels like I’m about to dive deep in the middle of an ocean full of sharks about to devour my soul. The speaker gave a signal and I joined the participants who were seated in a circular manner. All I saw was their eyes looking at me and waiting for my first few words. I almost choked on my own words, but felt as if I’ve been doing this for a long time as I continue to utter the phrases I needed.
There is no level at which I can describe the elation of disclosing my status as an HIV positive individual to several people I have never met before. I remember the time when I denied all allegations about me being HIV positive. Looking back at myself and comprehending my journey made me realize how clueless I was back then about HIV or AIDS. All my fears flushed down the toilet as they were replaced by an emerging feeling of confidence and strength to continue living a positive and normal life.
For the past few months of being a volunteer for Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Incorporated (PAFPI), I’ve seen people from different walks of life share their stories to motivate newly diagnosed HIV positive individuals. Not only are they opening themselves to the possibility of new found friendship, but most importantly to give a physical and visual illustration of how a person living with HIV (PLHIV) regain the strength and confidence to continue what they started.
Helping others may seem like you are on a charity event, but there’s more to helping than spending time and energy for a cause. Perhaps one of the things that I learned from volunteering for PAFPI is the real meaning of contentment and joy. I’ve been consumed with activities involving learning group sessions and focus group discussions that I forgot how contented I am with what I have been doing.
Volunteering gave me a new meaning to the word ‘growth’ in which I don’t need to gain financial incentives in order to feel productive, happy and satisfied. Simple things that I already am experiencing through helping people who share the same situation as mine and people who are affected by it.
Celestino A. Ramirez, Vice President and Training Director of Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Incorporated (PAFPI), was invited to speak for a capacity building among TB-DOTS facilities service providers from 17 local government units (LGUs) around the National Capital Region. Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) supported the two-part event entitled “Tuberculosis or TB and HIV Collaboration Seminar” was last March 26-28 and April 2-4, 2014 in Angeles, Pampanga. The event was in partnership with the Department of Health National Capital Region Office (DoH-NCRO) and was attended by representatives from different LGUs, doctors, midwives and nurses.
In line with PAFPI’s mission statement to contribute to the national response in advocacy and prevention, Ramirez invited two people living with HIV (PLHIV) to give testimonies about the hardships and successes of dealing with the virus. This is also in line with the organization’s advocacy to educate the public on how a person living with HIV can surpass the borders of depression through proper guidance and quality counseling services.
The two PLHIVs were encouraged to share their stories and to give meaning and depth to the seminar by providing insights on how someone feels after being diagnosed with HIV. The whole experience gave participants a glimpse on the challenges brought by the virus. This also educates the participants on the kind of support that PLHIVs need.
“Nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first understood.” – Leonardo da Vinci
‘The Mathematics of Life’ is a self-empowerment lecture formulated by the PAFPI-YaKAP Movement based on Leonardo da Vinci’s words combined with unconventional ways of explaining how one can relate Mathematics to a human being’s capacity and ability to use his or her mind. Some of the unconventional ways mentioned in this lecture includes the concept of Yin and Yang, The Law of Attraction, Albert Einstein’s Law of Special Relativity, etc. This lecture focuses on the different issues regarding psychosocial development and how one would perceive his or her life when immersed on a given environment, especially when faced with a positive HIV status.
Project Longevidad, a partnership project of XTRM team 1-11 of USANA Health Sciences Philippines. Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI), and PAFPI’s Yakap Movement held their first activity last January 31, 2014. The orientation and seminar that tackles the need for character development and training was held at the Bahay Kanlungan drop-in center. The event was attended by some people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHAs) and some personnel of PAFPI.
The number of people in the Philippines infected of HIV is rising fast. It speedily rise just like the turning of wheel in a city bustling of loud noises yet unaware of the threat of the infection. With this, Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI) thought of a strategy that could reach and educate the people who ride into the public vehicles.
Most people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the Philippines became hopeless. They give up when the physician said, “You only have 24 hours or a month to live,” but with their will, they can survive. This is what we do when we visit them in the treatment hubs or in their houses to assist their family in providing them support and tender loving. We offer words of encouragement that there’s life after HIV.
It was early Friday morning and just like other Fridays, I was on my way to Bahay Kanlungan Drop-In Center to join the nutrition and feeding activity of the Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI).
HIV Antibody Testing (HAT) is the only way to know your health status, but many fear stigma and discrimination. Perhaps it was the reason why many fear to get tested because their families might not understand them and that they will be judged. In fact, these fears are the usual reasons why one would not want to undergo an HIV test. But there are instances wherein their family would be the one to encourage them to take it.