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.

Advertisements

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.

#Grindr Problems

Every gay person on this planet prolly has Grindr. If not all, maybe 90%. From cruising singles to kinky dissatisfied┬ácouples, 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.

image

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.

image

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.

Money Exchange

It was a flight from Manila to Kuala Lumpur. A regular flight procedure from checking in to boarding. Nothing fancy, I’m not expecting anything. I was just a bit anxious as it is a red-eye (late night) flight and going to my hotel may add some challenge.

Fancy thing happened right after plane took off, seat belt sign switched off. I’m by the window seat (15F) and the only passenger on the row. This guy seated in front of me (14D), suddently changed seats and went on the aisle of my row. My eagle eyes caught he was good looking, maybe around my age and seems like on a business trip.

Things started to get uneasy in the middle of the flight, I can see on my periphal vision that he’s quite tense. Trying to check on me. It was a long 4 hour red eye flight and all I wanted to do is take some rest, I didn’t mind all the fuss and I wasn’t that assuming to begin with.

Restless, I decided to watch a movie on my phone. But dang it, my earphones were left on my check in bag, up the cabin. Can’t really force myself to disturb anyone just to get a piece of earphones. So went on for a pee break, stretched myself up and went to my business. I left my passport open and my boarding pass dangling so he can see my name, I guess it didn’t work out.

Going back to my seat, I tried a little flirt act by squeezing myself between the seat and his legs while blatantly projecting my crotch right in front of his face.
Onto the flight, no nothing. But I can still sense something. Like he wants to start the talking or whatnot. I cannot initiate a talk, I’m not that kind of person.

When we landed in Kuala Lumpur and started to disembarked, he stood up, looked at me, collected his luggage, looked at me again and strut his way out of the door. That I know, there’s really something. I went out just to know that we will be bussed to the arrivals hall, so we separated ways. That I knew, it was a missed chance.

lifebuzz-07c5e28b9bd00a377495432dbc1a285d-limit_2000

At the arrivals hall, I settled in through immigration, had my checked in bag and was about to exchange some money for my bus to the city. While waiting at the money exchange counter, much to my surprise, he showed up and also wanted to exchange his money. You know, it wasn’t the only money exhange counter at the arrivals hall, there were 3 more, so maybe he really wanted to talk to me. But my inferiority came into scene and I was like a rock hard goat playing dead. Can’t utter something, I can’t even smile nor start a small talk. I was dead for like 3 minutes. He’s done, I’m done and trying to walk my way out for the bus stop. That’s the time I had courage to back, trail him down and just say anything. But unfortunately, he’s nowhere to be found. Imagine those movie cliches where you are in the middle of the airport, trying to look around while everyone else is fast paced, that was the exact moment I had.

One of the few many missed opportunities I had. ­čś»

How To Get Away With HIV

This post is really about dating.

I’m watching a fairly new TV show, How To Get Away with Murder. After the first episode, it got me hooked up. I just learned about this like a couple of weeks ago, I’m not really into court drama thing but this one really hit me.

US TV series these days feature more gay/lesbian relationships, on-screen kissing and make out of the same gender. Which makes it more open minded and rather educating the audience more on how equal all of us can be.

But what really cuffed me are these characters named Connor and Oliver. Connor, a very good looking law intern this IT-nerd guy, Oliver at a bar and used him to gain information on a case he’s working with. They now constantly seeing each other favoring Connor. Oliver had a thought of them being partners, ditched by Connor, Oliver hooked up as he was hear-broken from Connor, they went back to dating. They took it to a higher note, both had tested for HIV, Connor being negative, Oliver as positive. Connor now is guilty since he thinks he’s the reason for all of this, yada yada yada.

Basically, it’s all very timely. Their story line make me excited. I guess, you have to try and watch it, you’ll appreciate it more.

Connor-and-Oliver-1-02-how-to-get-away-with-murder-37645219-500-600

Which brings me to these questions.

For those PLHIV’s:

1. How do you assert someone, a potential date or partner, regarding your HIV status?
2. How do you respond to certain actions once you told them?

For those who’s non-seroconverts:

1. How do you react or return to someone one’s he surrendered his status?

I haven’t dated for a while, like almost a decade. No nothing, some meetups, hook ups, flings and flirts. But nothing serious. I see 3 reasons here: 1. My ultimate sheepishness/self-conscious/diffident demeanor 2. Perhaps being choosy and 3. Being HIV positive. I have addressed my choosyness, trying to correct my self-esteem but unable to secure my sero status.

To be honest, I almost have all dating apps on my phone. Grindr, Jack’d, Hornet, PlanetRomeo and Tinder Plus (lol). I’m not really a fan favorite, I just try to talk to those who initially message me first, which is like less than the number of endangered Rhinos in the wild. It makes me think to just stop using them.

For now, the main reason of me being apprehensive is because of the sero status. I picture myself in the situation where I have to reveal my sero status and my potential date rejects it. That’s always a case. Perhaps it is time to share some of the “encounters”.

To answer the questions above,

1. How do you assert someone, a potential date or partner, regarding your HIV status?

I just can’t. First, I don’t have a potential date to tell to. Second, I automatically fear rejection. I stay away from it.

2. How do you respond to certain actions once you told them?

I really don’t know, I haven’t been there. But If I do get rejected, it’s like shooting a 3-barrel shotgun through my chest.

We Can’t Stop

It has been 4 (four) months since my last post. Pardon me for not really keeping up. I was busy for the last months or should I say I tend to slouch so much due to my ample time but decides to procrastinate more. Blogging was out of the way.

Let me regain the momentum and start if off with my anniversary blood test (RITM-ARG July 11, 2014). It was a routinary day, after work I then gush my way to Alabang. Good thing, a good friend of mine was also scheduled that day. No awkward and dull moments. An hour has passed, I arrived RITM and met my friend. The ARG entrance was packed with other patients, this was one unusual thing. It seems to be that they newly implemented a new security pact wherein no outsiders can enter the premises without permission. Makes sense to me, but everything went downhill when more and more “scheduled” patients flocked the entrance gate. The security’s new measure was a total disaster, it is already 8am and we were supposed to be at the clinic by this time having out blood extracted before cutoff time.

The crowd and system were at chaos, it seems the newly implemented security measure was half-baked and wasn’t even risk managed. This new measure made the existing poor process more uneventful. Stacking our patience up, (OH I STILL HATE THAT SECURITY GUARD – capslocked for emphasis) they let us in and queues were called. I’m up for queue 11, not bad. I also notice how patient volume has gone down as compared before.

Blood tests done, xray done, PPD done, I didn’t submit specimen for the rest, that’s my routine. Important things to know are CD4, Viral Load, CBC, cholesterol level.

The most exciting, excruciating, agonizing and torturous part of the day has come. The waiting time. Yes, from what I heard, unlike the other hubs, you can wait for your results. You just have to shell out a lot of patience, time and all the past time that you can spare. Go eat to the cafeteria, strut your way from the grassy lands to the nearby mall or just sit under a tree shade and watch people pass by. I prefer the latter, it really keeps me entertained.

Capture11

Had a chitchat and bunch of catch up with my good friend, (@kerouacPOZ). Also saw some familiar faces, 3 cute guys, one of which I was able to locate in Facebook. Endured the heat of the day. Oh, did mention how I STILL HATE THAT SECURITY GUARD?

I decided not to take the consultation as it will eat a big chunk of my time. By 1PM PST, I just wanted to go home. Take a shower and rest. Around 230PM PST, results were out and those waiting for the results, just to see the numbers, were called out. I got mine and I’m totally happy with it. BUT STILL, I HATE THAT SECURITY GUARD.

My new CD4 as of July 11, 2014 is 720 up by 207 units. A record breaking feat. The highest among the rest. It is a fluctuating trend. I’ll try to update on the next blog entry what I did so you out there can have an increase too.

***Wondering why “We Can’t Stop”? When 4 vials of blood were being extracted, Miley Cyrus did her thang. OH, I remember that medical staff who wears eyeglasses. ***

While Playing Flappy Bird

As of this moment Wednesday-March 5th, I am here in RITM-ARG. Will be having a medicine refill and set my next CD4 schedule. My queue is 22nd and while waiting for number to be called, am trying to observe the people around. I immediately saw 2 cute guys. One is infront of me, wearing a cap amd seem a bit aloof while the other at the ARG door, wearing a blue long sleeved polo.

The moment my feet stepped the 3rd floor, everyone’s looking at me. Very fucking awkward. I hate this feeling. I just wanna get me medicines, go home and eat breakfast.

image

The queue is slowly pacing up and while waiting for my turn, I am fucking playing this fucking flappy fucking retarded bird.

Holy bejeezus, that blue long sleeved guy at the door is adorably cute. I can’t stop looking at him. — oh my, he just passed by. No more eye candy. Whoever you are, in another life, I will be your half.