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.
When I was young I remembered watching the news and the hottest topic that time was Sarah Jane Salazar. Who would not know her? Sarah Jane was perhaps the first celebrated and media hyped HIV case in the Philippines because she bravely went out to public. It was like she first started to give HIV a face that the disease was real. It was during that time when I also remembered telling myself that it would it be impossible that I’ll have a relative that would have HIV. I was confident that none of what I was seeing on TV will happen to my family or people that I know.
My name is Genesis and I’m 26 years old when I got diagnosed HIV positive. Yes, HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus. And this is my personal testimony about how beautiful life is, specially if you are surrounded with great and positive people.
One of my most memorable day as an active volunteer was to join hospital visits at San Lazaro as part of the program of the Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc.( PAFPI). Every Monday, we are able to give food to patients who are confined at the hospital. And that day, we’ve reached out to 22 patients and what I saw really broke my heart because many, if not most, of the patients were in dire need of support, both morally and financially.