This is my first time to deliver a testimony about my HIV status in front of several unfamiliar faces since I was diagnosed. It feels like I am transported back to a time wherein I am lying on a bed and some of the patients near me were slowly dying. I’ll never forget how life consumed each and every soul beside me. I can hardly see the difference between what I went through on that situation and the feeling I have right now. The similarity is so uncanny that it gave me chills just thinking about it.
It’s my turn to share a story, but my mind is still playing the scenarios that took place at San Lazaro Hospital three years ago. There are 17 of us who were confined due to complications presented by having opportunistic infections. I am having mixed emotions right now and my brain kept on winding me back to the 14 patients who were transferred from white comforting sheets to black elongated bags. I suddenly felt my lips moving while a continuous flow of words kept on constructing a story surrounding a person fighting the battle against AIDS.
I’m glad to have survived this intense monologue. I can’t help but to put in mind that whatever happen to me I have Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Incorporated (PAFPI) to help me in every step of my journey. Volunteering for the organization is the only thing I can do in order to give back, but I felt like I am the one who is reaping the rewards. In every person living with HIV that I have encountered and in every story that I have heard, there is a common journey even I can relate to – the inspiration to take one step at a time and smile while doing so.
April 3, 2014