Long Term Effects Part 2

When a large-sized shirt is too big and a medium one is too small. Being skinny fat is a daunting situation to take. You look fit enough but not so in the middle core area. One long term effects of taking ARV’s is Lipodystrophy, the changes in body fat usage and redistribution associated with metabolic disturbances in PLHIV.

Resource Link: https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/understanding-hiv-aids/fact-sheets/22/63/hiv-medicines-and-side-effects

I have been taking ARV’s for the past 7 years and never changed my regimen, Lamivudine/Zidovudine and Efavirenz. I’m happy with what I am taking since it means older medicines still work with my body and I have enough pipeline buffer to take newer ones in the future. I’m not happy about it due to its side effects, both long term and short term. I think I have discussed about some effects of it on my previous post.

Lipodystrophy affects one’s self-esteem since it alters your physical attributes and changes how you look like. For some, shrinking of the extremities such as arms and legs are common. You look like a walking praying mantis, dried up and about to dismantle any second, and it is not really good. Well, others will judge how sickly and “unhealthy” you like and it will drastically pull your esteem to lowest of low. Redistribution of body fats are common as well and the most targeted area is the core – belly as you say it.

Overall, it is not a good experience and will somehow affect your way of life. The good news is there are ways to fix it. Eating the right kinds of food, taking less fatty and sugary meals, eating more fruits and vegetables. Most importantly, working out.

Speaking of which, I have been working out the past couple of years with a goal to fix what’s needed to be fixed – my disproportional body aesthetics. I look normal in some ways but when you try to take of my clothes, everything is blasted and it doesn’t seem right. I have enrolled myself to Anytime Fitness so I can have the full flexibility of the schedule.

The attempt is tremendous and I need extra effort to achieve the goal. However, it has becoming extremely frustrated. Seems like nothing has changed, some few cuts and tone and that’s it. Looks like I am doing something incorrectly, wasting my time, effort, and money. Giving up is almost inevitable. From 3-4 times a week, I now go 2 times a week.

Pretty demotivating knowing how superficial the community is. Comparing yourself to others and asking yourself why you can’t do it seems like the worse case, and that’s where am I at.

I’ll try to keep myself up and probably search other options for it to work.  To those who are experiencing the same, hopefully we can surpass it.

 

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I Should Have

Have I mentioned I’m still in my quarter-life crisis? I’m already 30 and seems like I’m stuck. I have no idea where the road will lead me. I’m just taking the path and flowing with the current. Honestly, I’m envious-jealous or whatever you call it with my colleagues, friends and what not. Checking my Facebook fred shows how exuberant and successful thely are. It made me anxious, covet what they have and what they have reached. Not really healthy on my mental aspect. Adding my current depressive state, it makes me go crazy. I then decided to stop looking at it, not entirely shutting it down. It made me realized a bunch of things that I should have done when I was a bit younger. Early to mid 20’s was my peak period and I realized I should have taken the chance to do things I should have done.

One, I should have travelled when I was youger. Should have met and created acquaintances when everything was seasonable. Two, I should have worked out early on. Humans are naturally attracted to good aesthetics, we vaue physical attraction at the onset. Now, I’m getting difficulties and challenges to meet this goal. Three, I should have said yes to Mark. Pretty simple, I was that finicky bitch. I know I have wrote about him. Now he’s the one that got away. Four, I should have taken time educating myself and learned new technology. During my early work years, I was too complacent of what I have. Now, I realized how new education and keeping up with technology is important to sustain your professional streak. Five, I should have worn protection. Me testing as HIV positive is no longer lingering in my mind. The question now is, what if. What if I wore protection. Perhaps 90% of PLHIV will agree their lives have been changed after testing positive. What if not. What will be situation like? 
Bottom line here is regret. I know it is never too late for these things. Catching up maybe an easy thing to do but the only factor that’s changing here is time. I am behind by 10 years and trying my best to follow suit. But when you’re too tired to think of anything, it’s a different story. I now hold the meaning of “do what you want”. In a nice way of course. Live while you’re young. Go travel, meet as many people as you want, quit the job that you hate and choose your boss. And most importantly, use protection. We don’t want to hear a point of no return.

The Blame Game

HIV infection rate in the Philippines is growing and the blame game is ongoing, the government who lacks will to mitigate the crisis, the person involved for being risky or the exponential evolution of technology which places everything within reach.

You can’t really pinpoint something just to cover other else’s shortcomings. The Philippine government is slowly catching up when it come to prevention and information dissemenation. They have provided a straight up insurance for PLHIV thru Philhealth, they do information campaign, though not enough. The person behind the risky acts? Simple, they aren’t fully informed and well educated on the things they do. The solution? Fully accessible information, open mindedness, and acceptance. A system that will empower an individual to get tested. This is already enforced by local groups such as Love Yourself and the like. Technology is constant, it rapidly changes every year. You put the blame why a person has been infected because of Grindr or Tinder. Internet and technology is already a necessity. 

These three take part in preventing the undoable situation. It all boils down to proper information at hand. When you’re fully equipped with facts, figures, and details, use technology in a proper sense, risk will be minimized. Girl, you can search your crush’s name in Facebook, what more researching about HIV. Meeting someone in the 70s or 80s in a disco, bar, pub or parking lot doesn’t have much difference meeting someone in Grindr, Tinder or Facebook.

If John is unaware of the risks of having online encounters, it can be easily known through internet. If John doesn’t have an internet, government comes in. If John knows it will be safer to use protection during online hook ups, risks are greatly reduced.

You can’t blame one. Everyone takes part of thr HIV figures the Philippines currently have. The freedom of meeting someone online for hookups is all yours. You just have to know the risks involved, how to minimize it and who are your resources when it comes to proper and correct information, and that includes you.

I know there are different views on this. But the goal is just the same, saving those risky behaviours from HIV, promoting safe encounters, and placing extra care, assistance and support to those who have it.

Related article from Rappler

http://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/in-depth/173761-orgy-tinder-social-media-sex-hiv-aids-youth-philippines

When In Taipei

June, one of the most colorful time of the year. I haven’t had the chance to join parades, celebration or what not. The closest one I have is when I was in Taipei, Taipei where they were urging for equal rights and gay marriage. I should say, I was very impressed how open and liberated Taiwanese people are. Of all Asian countries, they are in front of the line when it comes to LGBT issues. Now that they made history after legalizing marriage, I think Taiwan supersedes Thailand when it comes to LGBT issues. I know they are incomparable and probably have their own definitions but the point boils down to LGBT.

One night, I was strolling around Ximending area, Taipei’s shopping, fashion, and sub-culture district known for its bright lights, street food, clubs, and pubs. And met these people along the side of the streets peacefully expressing their minds about equality and gay marriage. Knowing I’m in an Asian “Chinese” territory, a celebration this big is quite surprising. I was there, standing and trying to observe how they do it. They marched so I followed along. It was just a night of expression and democracy. Not like the celebration vibe that we used to. Months after, it paid off and I’m overwhelmingly happy for them. 

From my experience, Taiwan hosts a good number of people who are very welcoming and open, unlike their mainland counterpart. Defintely good and wide selection of food and of course, good looking guys. Taiwan is a melting pot of China, Japan and South Korea. I’m a magnet for them.

There are a few good memories of Taipei of course and perhaps I’ll just keep it to myself. If I have stayed there, maybe I’m no longer single. Lol. 

Sounds like moving there is a pretty good idea? But please, no stingky tofu.

EFV’s Long Term Effects

See that Total Cholesterol field? It’s above the normal range and it flags me everytime I get my company annual checkup. It places me on the risk of having heart problems or any cholesterol-based ailments. I know this is a long-term effect of taking Efavirenz. I have been taking my cocktail – Lamivudine/Zidovudine/Efavirenz – the past 7 years. 

My initial side effect at hand was low RBC due to Lamivudine/Zidovudine but it was already taken cared of and it’s now on normal values. This time, cholesterol. have been talking to Google on how to possibly manage this. I’m actually quite confused why but I have been doing exercises and workouts and yet, having unfavorable results. Looks like it is within my eating habits. Fried food, fast food, oily and greasy mess. I already asked mon to cut out the frying menu and focus more on stews and grills. Taking the fat and skin out which is really my guilty pleasure. Maybe I’ll try the new pattern for a couple of months and see what will happen next. Being hospitalized is the least thing I want. 

5 Lifestyle changes to lower blood cholesterol

Broken Tooter

It was a normal solo tour of Hong Kong. Strolling around Tsim Tsa Tsui, watching the Hong Kong skyline, window shopping in Mongkok and grabbing some of the best Chinese food. What makes it memorable was the kinky sideline activities I had.

I have a great friend who lives and works in Hong Kong, we met when he and his boyfriend visited the Philippines. Remember this post? I promised them to pay a visit when I’m in Hong Kong. But unfortunately, they broke up. I’m in constant contact with this guy and I let him know I’m around. We met and he showed me around and had lunch together. It was a good time, catching up with a good old friend. Having ice cream by the promenade and walking by the business district.

On the second day, I wanted to try its famous nightlife, of course, as an introvert, I can’t really rely on myself and what I did was to open Grindr and possibly meet someone to be with, suggest which bars and clubs to go to show me around Lan Kwai Fong. It didn’t take too long to find a good companion. We met after office hours, had a little chit chat and got some dumpling dinner. He was cool and there were no awkwardness. After dinner, we went to Lan Kwai Fong and scouted some gay bars, we went to this place which was quite laid back, good music and ambiance. He asked me if he can invite his friend, “it’s ok, go ahead” I uttered. Minutes later, we met his friend and god, he sure looks good. Dressed neatly, eye glasses on, sleek hair and the way he smell was pretty inviting. After a couple of hours, we transferred to a more edgy club with loud music, a dance floor and definitely more guys. Minutes later, friend 1 needs to go home due to the fact that it was a mid week. Me and the cute friend were left behind, had a little talk and what not. Knowing how good looking he was, several other guys tried to butt in wanting to have a talk. It got a little awkward to a point that I’m no longer enjoying the time. Cute guy then decided to bail out, I don’t know why but he may have met a hookup or what. So I was left there alone, not knowing what to do. Hours later, I felt pity and decided to left. What happened was no big deal, it happens and I just don’t know what to do after it.

My last day proved to be a memorable one. Someone messaged me from Grindr and asking for us to meet. I said why not, it’s my free time and I can go anywhere. I can just go somewhere after meeting this guy. He asked me to go to his place, he was just ok but hey, his body was crazy as hell. I can’t describe how good his physique is. I know for myself that this will be going to be a hookup or something so I mentally prepared myself what to do. It was indeed a hookup but with a little twist, a CF hookup. For all you know, CF is ChemFun, that’s what I know. Correct me if am mistaken. Basically, there are drugs involved while you’re having fun. I thought it was just poppers, but hell no. He came up with this tooter apparatus and started to inhale fumes from it. I’m not sure what chemical is in it but for sure it was ice. I blatantly declined when he tried to offer me. He was already getting agitated which I know is an effect of that drug and it made me nervous like crazy. He was still intact and knows what’s happening, just that I don’t know what he might do. Knowing I’m in his lair, I just obliged and went with the flow. He even inhaled out the fumes and blew it to my mouth. Like 2 fishes brooding each other. I immediately felt the high. He offered again, but I abruptly decline. Once is enough. As we do our thing, his tooter fell and broken into pieces. I thought he had another spare but luckily, it’s the only one. A big sigh of relief. I packed up as soon as I can and left. Bye. Blocked. 

It was a thrilling experience I must say. I didn’t expect it to happen. The high feeling was still lingering when I got back to the hotel. I don’t felt molested or what but I was rather caught off guard. Still no regrets. It was an experience. Before catching my flight, I decided to shrug what happened that day, went to a coffee shop, guy watching, as if nothing has happened. Thank god that tooter broke down but I still recall how beautiful his body was.