Sunday, July 24, 2011
So, you have had your HIV test. You are done with confirmatory. They did your initial CD4. Your doctors recommended ARVS. You have been monitoring your digits, from hemoglobin to a new CD4 count. You never get or hardly get sick. Then, you suddenly ask yourself, am I really HIV+?
You heard about false positives. Some even go through the length of suing the medical facilities. You heard about the immune ones, whose HIV does not progress even without treatment. You heard about the first functional cure through bone marrow transplant. You even heard about the hypothesis that HIV does not necessarily cause AIDS.
So you start to think. And doubt.
Anything is possible. Life after all is one big movie, with its sudden twists and crazy plots.
Thing is, if you have had multiple HIV exams, then most likely, if you turned out poz, you are poz. But for thousands like me, who only relied on one exam you never even actually witnessed in the lab, you have the right to doubt. It's your little spark of hope. It's your light at the end of the tunnel. It's God answering your prayers. Whatever way or however you want to put it, you can get a second opinion.
But did you?
Since knowing that my viral load is already undetectable, my post work activities at home did not just include staying glued to delayed US TV series re-runs. While my neighbors sleep soundly, my brain is always racing with my intermittent internet speed. Research here and there. From Googling "HIV cure" every day (oh yes, every day) to volunteer work overseas for poz people, to the latest in vaccine trials, to HIV's natural history, you name it. I would have probably come across it once or twice.
Then earlier, I tried to Google "HIV rare case Philippines". Lo and behold, I found this Pinoy Poz whose case has baffled DOH this year. No idea if there were any developments but this happened some time first quarter of 2011. The poor guy allegedly was deported from France many years back for being poz. Then, for some reason, three recent Philippine tests have all yielded the same results: HIV negative.
So, yes. Life can give you a hard punch on the face at one point, then next thing you know, you get that teeny weeny bit of hope. I am happy for this guy. I am sure he's ecstatic, if not, maybe filled with mixed feelings (around ten years of living a poz life then pffft). But life already is one big miracle, which can give us hope that seemingly impossible things can happen.
Did you have a second HIV test? I am asking because I didn't. Maybe I should have. Testing positive was life changing, yes. But it would be more mind boggling to probably test negative and have your case analyzed by WHO, just like that Pinoy guy from France.
Nobody is stopping you from getting your second HIV test. Positive or negative, at least you tried to light up that glimmer of hope, which only a few lucky ones are able to experience; only because they got tested again.