Sid (not his real name) has been living with HIV for more than a year now. Here, he shares a few basic things about one of the most stigmatized diseases in today’s society.
READ: “I am HIV positive and I live a normal life just like anybody else.”
1. It only takes two to three hours to get your results after being tested.
2. Self-diagnosing yourself with the articles you read online can only bring about paranoia. The only way for you to really find out is to have yourself tested.
3. HIV itself doesn’t have symptoms. When you reach the AIDS level, that’s when you see some symptoms.
4. Dating becomes harder once you have it as it becomes somewhat of a moral obligation to tell the other person about your status for transparency.
5. Finding out you’re HIV positive may be the hardest thing you’ll have to accept. But what you wish to do about it is just as hard.
6. The soonest you know your status, the soonest you can do something about it.
7. People who are HIV positive can still engage in sex as long as it’s protected.
8. Some people, however, still hook up unprotected and live the way they used to live, maybe in denial or out of revenge or plain carelessness.
9. It pays to research on the basic knowledge such as how do you get it, where can you have yourself tested, and the adverse effects of discrimination against people who already have it.
10. HIV Information is free. Testing is free. Treatment is free. All you have to do is call the centers who offer it and get it.
11. Be aware. Health information is just as, if not more than important than your research on your next holiday getaway. Get yourself educated. Help spread awareness, help save a life.
Want to get started? For more information, visit www.loveyourself.ph, a community of volunteers that aim to reach out to others to propagate ideas, attitudes, and practices that encourage loving oneself -- to DARE to be oneself, to CARE for oneself, and to SHARE oneself as a way to multiplying joy.