Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One Big Fight: The Beginning

The alarm clock rings. It's 10:30AM, January 18, 2010. It's THE day. The TV alarm sets off, and the default channel is ABS CBN. I needed a good laugh, I needed to hear Vice's jokes first before opening that envelope which has given me a roller coaster of emotions the past weeks.

It's a new year. It was 2010. 2009 was a year of freaking struggles for me, but I managed to end on top. When the church bells rang at 12MN, on December 31st, I wished for the extinction of diseases.

I wanted to write Vice to thank him for making January 18th easier. I got dressed, and so did my partner. We were gonna open that envelope that'd change my life forever.

It was my first time at that hospital. I stood frozen across the big compound. My partner whispers, "Everything will be fine."

Never did I imagine that I'd walk this slow. Had my partner not pulled me from the street, a car would have run me over. At that point, I had a deathwish - I wished I'd get mugged, I wish I'd get shot, I wish I'd get stabbed - because I thought, then, what else was the point - I was gonna die anyway.

There was no available room with privacy, so the doctor led us to an open space, with a basketball court beside it. Now this is opening that envelope with style, in style.

The doctor who I consider a hero - lectured me on everything. So that I won't look stupid, I tried to agree, nods and all, side comments and all on stuff I've been googling.

He asked, after more than half an hour, if I was okay to open it. It was only I who can anyway. Took a deep breath, and half-wishing I belonged to the 1% of false +, I read the sheet of paper. My eyes looked for NON-REACTIVE. But you always don't get what you wish for. Doc puts his arm around me and says, "Positive".

My partner almost fell on his knees. We just got together. He knew about my condition prior to our official date, so we've taken the necessary precautions. I was more concerned about him, than me. I even asked him if he was okay. He started blank at me and I knew that he was gonna stick with me through this.

After fixing the logistics for my CD4 count, which miraculously, they managed to schedule really fast, my partner and I left the hospital. The day after that was to decide if I needed to start on meds.

God must be proud of me for staying strong that day. No tears (sing "It was inside that I cried"), no nothing, just prayers that my count is up, so I can start moving on. So my partner and I can move on.

While by Manila Bay, with the sun shining down on us, I talked to my partner about the thought of my dreams not being fulfilled anymore. He wraps his arm 'round my shoulders. And then I realized, that I was lucky I knew about it early, that I have him to support me, and that definitely, God just wants me to look at another direction.

I take accountability for getting this and I will take accountability to fight HIV - to the effin' death.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Climb Over that Wall

Before 2010, I was just a regular gay guy who thought was living his life in Manila, Philippines.

In January of this year, I was diagnosed to be HIV+. It was a tough four months of hiding, escaping, hurting, forgetting, laughing, loving and living.

XUANYA is Chinese for CLIFF - I once heard from a wise man, that when you are pushed off the cliff, you either fall or you fly.

This is my account of climbing up the wall and seeing another road, when I thought it was already a dead end.