Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Confessions of an HIV Positive

Acceptance, trust and moving on, this are things that person who has HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). According to UNAIDS there are estimated of 33 million people living with HIV as of 2007 where in the Philippines there is roughly estimation of 3,911 HIV+/AIDS reported cases as of May 2009 by National Epidemiology Center. Lets familiarize ourselves first by know learning that HIV occurs by the transfer of blood/ blood transfusion that is present from transfer of blood from an HIV patient to a non HIV patient by means of blood transfer and sometimes this transfer can be as easy by the use of syringe for those heroine users particularly drug addicts. Sexual contact this is commonly the cause the transfer of infection, the virus is transmitted through semen (male), vaginal fluid (female), pre-ejaculate, or breast milk, with the body fluids the HIV Virus is present as both free virus particles and virus within the infected immune cells. It may sound geeky but to make it simpler HIV Virus is transmitted in for ways, unsafe sex, contaminated needles, breast milk and transmission through birth where mothers who are HIV+ can transfer the virus to her baby it is caller vertical transmission. Unsafe sex is recorded as 89% and discussed as the major contributor of transmission in the National Epidemiology Center data and since 2007, 72 % of new cases were males who got infected from having sex with other females here in the Philippines. The peek age bracket for males is 25-29 years old as first from the chart followed by 30-34 years old and 20-24 years old is ranked as third.

The problem right now especially in the Philippines, HIV/AIDS patient is tagged by those who doesn’t understand this kind of case as “modern lepers”, others are discriminated, and judged, sometimes they end up loosing or not having a job or stopping from their schools. With the law that govern this kind of cases is catered by Article VII, Section 42 ng Republic Act 8504 or The Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998 (http://www.doh.gov.ph/ra/ra8504), the law will defend the HIV/AIDS patients from any form of discrimination from workplace, schools, hospital, and other establishments.

This afternoon (November 30) I attended two HIV/AIDS events in Makati; my exclusive interview at Starbucks, with a friend who is one year diagnose with HIV and UNAIDS and Headshot Clinic: Move, AIDS Awareness in Three Sixty Bar in A Venue.

Others may be familiar with him as fellow blogger and an event specialist, but only few know that the 26 years old Eric Bordeos is HIV+. It is hard to believe that Eric is infected seeing the usual funny and cheerful self, but reality really bites and sometimes it has fangs to make it painful for us to understand. The ten-minute video is our conversation about what was his life before, how did he get it, how does it change his life after he discovered that he is HIV positive last July 2008 in Manila Social Hygiene Clinic and what are the things he is doing right now as a new HIV/AIDS advocate.

(The actual conversation is unedited)

Like Eric you can follow the stories and testimonial of HIV/AIDS patient and advocates at http://www.positivism.ph where Eric’s story is written on page 41 of the 3rd issue of the webzine.

After having coffee and conversation with Eric, Headshot Clinic with Nicollo Cosme and UNAIDS at the three sixty bar where all the photos taken will be posted on the AIDS Awareness Exhibit on December 9 at the Greenbelt 5 in Makati.

For those who wanted to have HIV test, visit Social Hygiene Clinic - Manila Health Department, 2nd Floor of 208 Quiricada Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila, for inquiries contact for inquiries, call 711-6942 and look for Dra. Diana Mendoza or Ms. Malou Tan, Monday to Friday only from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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