Love in the Time of Diarrhea

Not unknown to RITM-ARG patients about the empowerment training they conduct to recently diagnosed patients. It gives you some psychological activities to help you with your diagnosis. Similar to a counselling activity but on a much conducive way. You are pooled to join a single weekend-long activity, thus the probability of meeting new friends is very likely.

I once dated a guy from the only empowerment activity I attended to. It wasn’t really a planned dating scheme, we were both vulnerable that time.

His CD4 count was way low, a single digit count. Can be considered an AIDS case. He was on Azithromycin and Co-Trimaxazole prophylaxis, got rashes all over, pretty much an overly obvious HIV patient. He, that time, has an ongoing opportunistic infection that causes diarrhea. Long term diarrhea. He mentioned he has it for like 6 months, and coz of that, he was very thin, sick looking guy. His case didn’t really bother me in dating him.

He showed me a some of his photos. A big difference of what he was before and the time he’s suffering from that diarrhea.

Just like any other dates, it was a normal one. There’s no wall between us that I’m a healthy HIV patient and he’s not. We go out mostly on weekends, went to some gay parties, met some of his friends, he met some of mine. I even brought him home to sleep over – which I rarely do to a guy.

Eventually everything starts to slow down. He was a bum that time, got no work. He’s unable to get a job due to his ongoing sickness and he only depends on how much his family can give him. So meeting up with him on a weekly basis starts to decline. If we ever do meet, the price for me is really expensive since I have to shoulder him.

I encourage and put my efforts on helping him land a job. I even tried referring him to my company that time. But his persistency is not as high as I want him to have a job. It wasn’t for us, but it was for him.

His attitude slowly came up as being immature and we always had fights and weird arguements. We manage to survive a couple more months but it became unhealthy.

I then decided to call it quits. I need to let go of the struggle and loosen the bottleneck. I know it will be healthier for us and maybe he can concentrate further on improving his health. We ended up quarreling before ending it up.

Years after, he added me up on Facebook trying to stay in touch. His health has improved a lot and cured from his OI. We lost contact after.

Now, I tried looking for profile and saw he’s gone out working in a different country. He’s happy with his boyfriend, got a new car, looks healthy andof course no more diarrhea.

I know I made the right choice calling our so called “dating” quits. He stood back up on his feet, rebuilt his health and now successful and happy. Definitely no regrets, I’m actually happy for him. I remember those days where he rushes to the toilet.

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#Grindr Problems

Every gay person on this planet prolly has Grindr. If not all, maybe 90%. From cruising singles to kinky dissatisfied couples, it’s an avenue to meet others in a least conventional way.

Seeing in different perspectives, from normal gay guys to PLHIV’s. I don’t really equate PLHIV as “not normal” beings but rather I want to imply that there are instances specific to us that may or may not be experienced the by lesser evils.

Yes, we are on using Grindr. But for what? Hookups, meetups, just to kill time while chatting and if it comes to that — relationships. Ok, given these reasons, what’s next? That’s the story here.

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First
Human Instinct

need for human instinct

Us PLHIV’s also have the need for human instinct. Sex.

Disclaimer
As long as you are responsible enough, doing it safe and knows how to do it in accordance to the unwritten rules, then I think it’s fine.

You met this guy online. The perfect time and place. You’re both into each other and decided to get into action. Everything went fine and you expect another session of this sooner or later and you eventually found out, you’re both PLHIV’s? Surprise, you have something in common! What happens next? I don’t know, it’s up to you. You can be BFFs (best fucking friends) or go up a notch.

The question is, how in the world you know that he’s also one and he know that you are also one. There are many ways but perhaps there are 2 ways. You saw his medication on the table (just shows how lousy your sex partner is) or at the end of your steaming action, there were this hunch and sense. Pretty awkward.

Second
Lost opportunity

A lost opportunity

There are times when you’re desperate, lonely and empty.
And for us PLHIV’s, it’s quite hard to look for a date. Not all are willing to date someone who has HIV (but thank you Analise #HTGAWM for showing the world it’s possible)
Suddenly opened your Grindr, met this cute hot nice guy. Emphasis on “cute hot and nice”. Had sex and you think you are very compatible. Your mind overcome this notion that this is not just good sex, a cute hot guy is so nice like a prince charming, like a one in a million catch in the Pacific ocean?

Now you start to get anxious of how well this will go. You know that this is something and finally he asked you for a movie date? Sounds cliche but it happens. The bad part is, you initially had sex. You plan to disclose your status in the long run but since you are anxious enough if what will happen, it branches out of whether he might get mad for you not telling him right away, trust issue, rejection, yada yada.. and you decided to just disappear. Out of the blue. Like a meteorite entering in to Earth’s atmosphere, slowly burning and disappearing to a meteor. Waiting for another hundred years for another asteroid. Now this experience added to your existing emotional burden. A lost opportunity.

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Third
Condemned AF

it would have gone out far

I know this somehow applies to all of us.

There’s this cute guy in Grindr you’ve been lurking for days. Finally sends you a message, asking you to meet and have coffee or something. He’s cute, he acts nice. The first date was great and you decided to do it again. he got your trust and eventually you spill the beans. The beautiful world of unicorns and pancakes tumbled down. He’s grossed out, he thinks you’re a filthy animal because you have HIV, he dislikes you, looked at you from head to toe. Then there goes your heart ache. Not because you expected something, but the shame you got. The regret of getting this lifetime gift re-surged. Thinking if only I don’t have this, it would have gone out far.

What does these mean? If it ain’t easy for you, what more for us? Always keep it safe.