Friday, September 11, 2009

For How Long?


That was my very first CD4 count when I found out I was positive.

How could it have been that low when my body was as strong as a horse? Though I recall having minor itches but that's all.

Like it's said about HIV, the virus feeds on your CD4 cells, therefore weakening your immune system. At 238, I was 39 points away to becoming a person with AIDS.

I couldn't ask back then because the shock was already too much. It made me go out to the quadrangle of RITM, look up to the sky and wait for an answer to pop out of the clouds. I was helpless. No sound logic could make me cope at all during those moments.

I just simply had shut up and breathe till I calmed down, back then, because more than 6 months ago, the jargons and terms used by people who have it and the people who deal with them were barely assimilated into my vocabulary.

I calmed down because of what they said: "Don't worry, it's time you took the ARV."

ARV. Anti retro viral drugs. It's not a total cure, but in a nut shell, it works like an anti biotic which you have to take on time, religiously, if you want to keep the viral load in your body down and your CD4 cells to go up. The problem here is, anti biotics kill the virus that makes you sick, ARV cannot penetrate through to your marrow to kill the dormant viri so all it could do is kill the ones that are prancing around like faeiries on Jaeger bombs in your blood, hence it's not a total cure. If you fail to be consistent with the ARV, the virus will develop an immunity to the drug and you will have to go try another cocktail combination again.

Think it's easy adjusting to a very toxic drug?

The trial periods for ARV combinations are not easy; there are chances wherein you could get fevers, burning sensations, rashes and other complications that I didn't want to hear about. I got hit with the fever and I almost passed out in a mall during that time. My sweat was cold, I was clammy all over, it felt like the animus was leaving my body and it was getting dark and grey at the blurry sides of my vision.

Hard enough?

I couldn't take paracetamol anymore. There are medicines that normal people take that you can no longer take when you are on ARV. At that point, I was told by the doctor that I should take fluids, rest, fruits, vitamins and PRAYERS.

Wow, prayers. Indeed, that was hell. But the operating word is now 'was'.

The period's long over now with my body fully adjusted to the Lamivudine/Zidovudine and Nevirapine combination (my ARV cocktail). My CD4 count has risen to 380 and my immune system is up again. The itches on my skin are gone and I just have to continue taking my meds on time as if it were a legally signed contract with the Grim Reaper.

But why 238 righ away? How come so low?

They estimated that I would have had it 4 to 5 years already being that my CD4 count was already that low.

4 to 5 years? That means... How many did I infect without me knowing?

I recall within those 4 to 5 years, my wild side would've made Steve-O and the cast of MTV's Wild Boys and Jack Ass look like a bunch of Carmelite Nuns.

No doubt about it, I could have infected someone already. So what do I do? I didn't mean it back then. Really.

Right now, what I'm focusing on is fortifying myself from within and working my way outward. Seriously, theatrics aside, this is just me. I'm not the hottest piece of gay meat in Metro Manila (but I'm not the ugliest for sure!) so it made me think (as the competitive sports enhusiast that I am): someone out there could be planting more than I am without them knowing it.

They could just be out there screwing someone silly and planting doom. Jeez, why the sudden sprite of concern going on?

Closing my eyes before I wrote this, I thought to myself: that middle aged man from Ayala Heights wasn't joking-- we are destroying ourselves without us knowing it. And true enough or possibly, knock on wood, even worse, mysterious deaths will come sweeping the country within 5 to 10 years.

I think he was pertaining to those who have it, are spreading it around, and won't check at all and will only find out when it's too late. The pattern could be the same with those whom they have infected. It'll just be like a domino of a grand necrological scale.

And cmon, you don't have to be hot or cute to get laid. You just need to be horny! It's that simple! Just turn out the lights and you can let your dreams and fantasies get of!

Speaking of dreams, I've dreamt of this, I think my dreams had somethign to do with this. I can't really put it vividly here because some of my friends know my dreams as I've shared it with them because I have had dreams that are so vivid and I actually remember them still. It just involved a lot of people dying around me.

All this thinking plus the multiplication table that they have in figures about infectoids infecting others and so on and so forth. We're talking auto genocide like they said.

5 years: that's how long I've had it at most.

5 years: that's how long it'll take for those who do not know to die.

So for how long?

How long before the entire country realizes that it's really here in front of our faces? And by realizing, how long before they accept? And by accepting, how long will it take before they act upon it?

Healing myself, I sit here in front of the screen, with but pieces of a bleak future for a lot of people, in my head.

I am lucky that I know and I am able to buy myself time with this drug.

What about the others who don't know?

For how long?

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