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.
To accept our status is important for us to face our everyday challenges. This will make us face life’s adversaries head on. But did you know that it took me a while to have this kind of thinking? Yes, the person, whose story you are reading now, is totally different many years back. Needless to say, I faced my own demons and I am proud that I’ve been able to conquer it no matter how hard the process was. And yes, naproseso na ako as I may call it because it took my peer educator and volunteer lots and lots of patience to help and guide me attain the positive mindset that I have now.
Time is gold for people who are busy as bees, but are they aware of the increasing number of people who are infected of HIV? As of October 2013, the Department of Health HIV and AIDS Registry recorded a number of 491 new HIV cases. Yes, it was the highest recorded new HIV incidence since 2011.