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924 new HIV cases reported in April 2018; 98% from unsafe sex

With up to 31 new HIV infections happening every day, the total number of Filipinos who tested HIV-positive reached 924 in April 2018. 96% of the newly diagnosed were male, and sexual contact remains the main mode of transmission (98%).



Still in a bad situation.

With up to 31 new HIV infections happening every day, the total number of Filipinos who tested HIV-positive reached 924 in April 2018, the month covered by the most recent report released by the HIV/AIDS & ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP). Of that number, 179 (19%) already had clinical manifestations of advanced HIV infection (WHO clinical stage 3 or 4) at the time of diagnosis, meaning late diagnosis of their HIV status.

Broken according to sex, 96% (885) of the newly diagnosed were male, with the median age of the newly infected 28 years old (range: 2 – 70 years old). Half (50%, 462) were 25-34 years old and 30% (277) were 15-24 years old at the time of testing.


About one third (30%, 282) of the newly infected were from the National Capital Region (NCR). Region 4A (18%, 164 cases), Region 3 (13%, 117), Region 7 (8%, 71), Region 11 (5%, 50) and Region 6 (5%, 44) rounded off the top six regions with the most number of newly diagnosed cases for the month, together accounting for 79% of the total.


Sexual contact remains the main mode of transmission (98%, 905). Among this, eighty-six percent were among males who have sex with males (MSM).

Other mode of transmission were needle sharing among injecting drug users (1%, 13) and vertical transmission/mother-to-child transmission (<1%, 1).

There were five cases that had no data on mode of transmission. Among the newly diagnosed females for April, four were pregnant at the time of diagnosis.

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In April 2018, 277 (30%) cases were among youth 15-24 years old; 97% were male. Almost all (99%, 273) were infected through sexual contact (29 male-female sex, 168 male-male sex, 76 sex with both males and females) and two were infected through sharing of needles. Two cases had no data on mode of transmission.

There were 47 newly diagnosed adolescents 10-19 years old in April 2018. Almost all (98%) were infected through sexual contact (eight male-female sex, 31 male-male sex, seven had sex with both males and females) and one had no data on mode of transmission.

There was one newly diagnosed child less than 10 years old and was infected through mother-to-child transmission.


In April 2018, 11% (106) of the newly diagnosed engaged in transactional sex. Ninety-nine percent (105) were male and were 18 to 54 years old (median: 27 years). More than half of the males (59%, 62) reported paying for sex only, 29% (30) reported accepting payment for sex only and 12% (13) engaged in both. There was one newly diagnosed female who engaged in transactional sex aged 26 years old and was reported accepting payment only.

The first case of HIV infection in the Philippines was reported in 1984. Since then, there have been 54,332 confirmed HIV cases reported to the HARP.


In April 2018, there were 66 deaths among people with HIV. All were male. Eleven (17%) were 15-24 years old, 27 (41%) cases were from 25-34 years old, 27 (41%) cases were from 35-49 years old age group and one (1%) case was aged 50 years or older. Almost all (98%) of the cases were reported to have acquired the infection through sexual contact (10 through male-female sex, 38 through male-male sex, and 17 through sex with both males and females); while there was one case that had no data on the mode of transmission.

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Over one third of people would ‘swipe left’ on a dating app to reject someone with HIV and on effective treatment

On dating apps, over one third (35%) of people would reject someone living with HIV and even if the person is on effective treatment. This is largely because of outdated beliefs, considering that science has proven that people living with HIV who are on effective treatment cannot pass the virus onto sexual partners.




Stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV is still truly alive.

Over one third (35%) of people would “swipe left” on a dating app to reject someone living with HIV and even if the person is on effective treatment. In gay dating app Tinder, swiping left means outright rejection of the person.

This is according to HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust, basing on a YouGov research that explored people’s attitudes towards sex, relationships and HIV to reveals a shocking level of stigma steeped in a severe lack of understanding of HIV transmission.

A further third (31%) “don’t know” which way they’d swipe, while a final third (30%) said they “wouldn’t” swipe left, implying that they’d give the person a chance.

When presented with the statement ‘I would feel comfortable kissing someone living with HIV on effective treatment’, almost one in two (43%) disagreed with the statement.

Almost one in five (17%) said they weren’t sure, while just over a third (35%) agreed that they would.

Regardless of treatment, HIV cannot be passed on through kissing.

Because Undetectable = Untransmittable

When asked about condomless sex, just 10% of those asked agreed that they’d be comfortable having “unprotected” sex with someone living with HIV and on effective treatment.

Over three quarters of respondents (77%) disagreed with this.

Science has proven that people living with HIV who are on effective treatment cannot pass the virus onto sexual partners, regardless of whether they use a condom or not.

HIV+ men with undetectable viral load do not transmit HIV to their partners, says new study

In the PARTNER study, considered were 58,000 instances of sex between an HIV positive person on effective treatment and a partner without HIV, and there were zero cases of HIV transmission.

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Apparently, most people are unaware of this, and many still don’t believe it when it’s explained.

When given the statement “people on effective HIV treatment can’t pass the virus on”, over half of respondents (55%) said it was false.

Over one third (33%) said they were unsure, while just one in ten (10%) believed it was true.

According to Ian Green, chief executive at Terrence Higgins Trust, ‘It’s so important to get this message out to as many people as possible. We hear on a near daily basis how out of date beliefs about how HIV is passed on are negatively affecting the lives and mental health of people with HIV, and it urgently needs to change.”

Green added that “amazing medical progress has been made, but knowledge of HIV quite clearly hasn’t kept up with that progress. Effective treatment means HIV shouldn’t be a barrier to anyone doing anything they want to and that includes having a fulfilling relationship and sex life. We all have a role to play in this and it’s high time for everyone to stop doubting the science and accept the realities of HIV as that’s the best way to tackle the abhorrent stigma that still surrounds the virus. It’s truly devastating to hear that so many wouldn’t swipe right for or even kiss someone living with HIV who’s on effective treatment. We’ve known for three decades that HIV can’t be passed on through day-to-day contact and that includes kissing.”

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Time is running out to reach the 2020 HIV targets – UNAIDS

New HIV infections are rising in around 50 countries, AIDS-related deaths are not falling fast enough and flat resources are threatening success. Half of all new HIV infections are among key populations and their partners, who are still not getting the services they need.



UNAIDS is issuing countries with a stark wake-up call. In a new report, UNAIDS warns that the global response to HIV is at a precarious point. At the halfway point to the 2020 targets, the report, Miles to go—closing gaps, breaking barriers, righting injustices, warns that the pace of progress is not matching global ambition. It calls for immediate action to put the world on course to reach critical 2020 targets.

Photo used for illustration purpose only. Photo by Vittore Buzzi from

“We are sounding the alarm,” said Michel Sidibé, executive director of UNAIDS. “Entire regions are falling behind, the huge gains we made for children are not being sustained, women are still most affected, resources are still not matching political commitments and key populations continue to be ignored. All these elements are halting progress and urgently need to be addressed head-on.”

HIV prevention crisis

Global new HIV infections have declined by just 18% in the past seven years, from 2.2 million in 2010 to 1.8 million in 2017. Although this is nearly half the number of new infections compared to the peak in 1996 (3.4 million), the decline is not quick enough to reach the target of fewer than 500 000 by 2020.
The reduction in new HIV infections has been strongest in the region most affected by HIV, eastern and southern Africa, where new HIV infections have been reduced by 30% since 2010. However, new HIV infections are rising in around 50 countries. In eastern Europe and central Asia the annual number of new HIV infections has doubled, and new HIV infections have increased by more than a quarter in the Middle East and North Africa over the past 20 years.

Treatment scale-up should not be taken for granted

Due to the impact of antiretroviral therapy roll-out, the number of AIDS-related deaths is the lowest this century (940 000), having dropped below 1 million for the first time in 2016. Yet, the current pace of decline is not fast enough to reach the 2020 target of fewer than 500 000 AIDS-related deaths.
In just one year, an additional 2.3 million people were newly accessing treatment. This is the largest annual increase to date, bringing the total number of people on treatment to 21.7 million. Almost 60% of the 36.9 million people living with HIV were on treatment in 2017, an important achievement, but to reach the 30 million target there needs to be an annual increase of 2.8 million people, and there are indications that the rate of scale-up is slowing down.

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West and central Africa lagging behind

Just 26% of children and 41% of adults living with HIV had access to treatment in western and central Africa in 2017, compared to 59% of children and 66% of adults in eastern and southern Africa. Since 2010, AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 24% in western and central Africa, compared to a 42% decline in eastern and southern Africa.

Nigeria has more than half (51%) of the HIV burden in the region and there has been little progress in reducing new HIV infections in recent years. New HIV infections declined by only 5% (9000) in seven years (from 179 000 to 170 000) and only one in three people living with HIV is on treatment (33%), although HIV treatment coverage has increased from just 24% two years ago.

Progress for children has slowed

The report shows that the gains made for children are not being sustained. New HIV infections among children have declined by only 8% in the past two years, only half (52%) of all children living with HIV are getting treatment and 110 000 children died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2017. Although 80% of pregnant women living with HIV had access to antiretroviral medicines to prevent transmission of HIV to their child in 2017, an unacceptable 180 000 children acquired HIV during birth or breastfeeding—far away from the target of fewer than 40 000 by the end of 2018.

“One child becoming infected with HIV or one child dying of AIDS is one too many,” said Mr Sidibé. “Ending the AIDS epidemic is not a foregone conclusion and the world needs to heed this wake-up call and kick-start an acceleration plan to reach the targets.”

Key populations account for almost half of all new HIV infections worldwide

The report also shows that key populations are not being considered enough in HIV programming. Key populations and their sexual partners account for 47% of new HIV infections worldwide and 97% of new HIV infections in eastern Europe and central Asia, where one third of new HIV infections are among people who inject drugs.

“The right to health for all is non-negotiable,” said Sidibé. “Sex workers, gay men and other men who have sex with men, prisoners, migrants, refugees and transgender people are more affected by HIV but are still being left out from HIV programs. More investments are needed in reaching these key populations.”

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Half of all sex workers in Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe are living with HIV. The risk of acquiring HIV is 13 times higher for female sex workers, 27 times higher among men who have sex with men, 23 times higher among people who inject drugs and 12 times higher for transgender women.

“Communities are echoing UNAIDS’ call,” said Vincent Pelletier, positive leader and executive director of Coalition PLUS. “We need universal access to adapted prevention services, and protection from discrimination. We call upon world leaders to match commitments with funding, in both donor and implementing countries.”

Stigma and discrimination persists

Discrimination by health-care workers, law enforcement, teachers, employers, parents, religious leaders and community members is preventing young people, people living with HIV and key populations from accessing HIV prevention, treatment and other sexual and reproductive health services.

Across 19 countries, one in five people living with HIV responding to surveys reported being denied health care and one in five people living with HIV avoided visiting a health facility for fear of stigma or discrimination related to their HIV status. In five of 13 countries with available data, more than 40% of people said they think that children living with HIV should not be able to attend school with children who are HIV-negative.

New agenda needed to stop violence against women

In 2017, around 58% of all new HIV infections among adults more than 15 years old were among women and 6600 young women between the ages of 15 and 24 years became infected with HIV every week. Increased vulnerability to HIV has been linked to violence. More than one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, often at the hands of their intimate partners.

“Inequality, a lack of empowerment and violence against women are human rights violations and are continuing to fuel new HIV infections,” said Sidibé. “We must not let up in our efforts to address and root out harassment, abuse and violence, whether at home, in the community or in the workplace.”

90–90–90 can and must be achieved

There has been progress towards the 90–90–90 targets. Three quarters (75%) of all people living with HIV now know their HIV status; of the people who know their status, 79% were accessing treatment in 2017, and of the people accessing treatment, 81% had suppressed viral loads.

Six countries, Botswana, Cambodia, Denmark, Eswatini, Namibia and the Netherlands, have already reached the 90–90–90 targets and seven more countries are on track. The largest gap is in the first 90; in western and central Africa, for example, only 48% of people living with HIV know their status.

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A big year for the response to tuberculosis

There have been gains in treating and diagnosing HIV among people with tuberculosis (TB)—around nine out of 10 people with TB who are diagnosed with HIV are on treatment. However, TB is still the biggest killer of people living with HIV and three out of five people starting HIV treatment are not screened, tested or treated for TB. The United Nations High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis in September 2018 is an opportunity to bolster momentum around reaching the TB/HIV targets.

The cost of inaction

Around US$ 20.6 billion was available for the AIDS response in 2017—a rise of 8% since 2016 and 80% of the 2020 target set by the United Nations General Assembly. However, there were no significant new commitments and as a result the one-year rise in resources is unlikely to continue. Achieving the 2020 targets will only be possible if investments from both donor and domestic sources increase.

Ways forward

From townships in southern Africa to remote villages in the Amazon to mega-cities in Asia, the dozens of innovations contained within the pages of the report show that collaboration between health systems and individual communities can successfully reduce stigma and discrimination and deliver services to the vast majority of the people who need them the most.

These approaches continue to drive the solutions needed to achieve the 2020 targets. When combination HIV prevention—including condoms and voluntary medical male circumcision—is pursued at scale, population-level declines in new HIV infections are achieved. Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is having an impact, particularly among key populations. Offering HIV testing and counseling to family members and the sexual partners of people diagnosed with HIV has significantly improved testing access.

Eastern and southern Africa has seen significant domestic and international investments coupled with strong political commitment and community engagement and is showing significant progress in achieving the 2020 targets.

“For every challenge there is a solution,” said Sidibé. “It is the responsibility of political leaders, national governments and the international community to make sufficient financial investments and establish the legal and policy environments needed to bring the work of innovators to the global scale. Doing so will create the momentum needed to reach the targets by 2020.”

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HIV prevention efforts still need to be significantly stepped up

New HIV infections declined by 18% from 2010 to 2016, from 2.2 million to 1.8 million, but to reach the target of 500,000 new infections by 2020 HIV prevention efforts must be significantly stepped up, particularly among populations at higher risk.



HIV issue is far from over.

New HIV infections declined by 18% from 2010 to 2016, from 2.2 million to 1.8 million, but to reach the target of 500,000 new infections by 2020 HIV prevention efforts must be significantly stepped up, particularly among populations at higher risk.

In countries like the Philippines, HIV is far from over. In April 2018, there were 66 deaths among people with HIV. All were male. Eleven (17%) were 15-24 years old, 27 (41%) cases were from 25-34 years old, 27 (41%) cases were from 35-49 years old age group and one (1%) case was aged 50 years or older.

This is according to the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in his report, Leveraging the AIDS response for United Nations reform and global health, where he said that “the world is making good progress towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, but progress is uneven and fragile. At this pivotal moment, we must renew our focus and shared commitment to a world free of AIDS.”

At the halfway point to the 2020 Fast-Track Targets agreed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2016, United Nations Member States gathered to review progress in responding to HIV. Member States presented the progress and challenges in their countries and heard from the United Nations Secretary-General, who presented his report on the global response to HIV.

According to the president of the General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák, “We cannot forget that what we are doing today ties into our other goals and objectives. We can use today’s meeting to explore opportunities for even more action. Let’s keep going. Let’s keep fighting this virus—and the stigma that comes with it.”

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Guterres’ report shows that the exponential scale-up of antiretroviral therapy has now reached more than half of all people living with HIV, which in turn has contributed to a decline of one third in AIDS-related deaths, from 1.5 million in 2010 to 1 million in 2016. It also notes the progress in stopping new HIV infections among children and highlights that eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV is possible if the world remains focused.

The report also shows that while the number of people accessing treatment almost tripled from 2010 to June 2017, from 7.7 million people on treatment to 20.9 million, 15.8 million people are still in need of treatment, and progress in expanding access to treatment for children is particularly slow. Just 43% of children living with HIV had access to treatment in 2016.

The report shows there is still much work to do to reach the targets in the 2016 United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS, including filling the US$ 7 billion shortfall in funding for the AIDS response. It sets out five strong recommendations to get countries on track, including mobilizing an HIV testing revolution, safeguarding human rights and promoting gender equality and using the HIV Prevention 2020 Road Map to accelerate reductions in new HIV infections.

In 2016 (*June 2017) an estimated:

  • *20.9 million [18.4 million–21.7 million] people were accessing antiretroviral therapy (in June 2017)
  • 36.7 million [30.8 million–42.9 million] people globally were living with HIV
  • 1.8 million [1.6 million–2.1 million] people became newly infected with HIV
  • 1.0 million [830 000–1.2 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses
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Philippine AIDS Bill’s silence on condom promotion is a big mistake

The draft law is a marked improvement over its antiquated predecessor. But like its predecessor, the measure does not include specific provisions directing the government to promote condom use. This is a big mistake.




By Carlos H. Conde

The Philippine Senate passed a bill on Monday that would amend the country’s 20-year-old AIDS law, and which promises to improve the government’s response to the HIV epidemic, the fastest-growing in the Asia-Pacific region. The draft law, which still needs to be harmonized with the version the House of Representatives passed in December, outlines a rights-based response to the epidemic.

The proposed law will provide more resources to the Philippine National AIDS Council, the government’s main policymaking body on HIV/AIDS. It lowers the age young people can be tested for HIV without parental consent from 18 to 15 years. It prohibits discrimination against people with HIV in the workplace and other settings. It makes it unlawful to disclose the HIV status of an individual without their consent. And it makes age-appropriate sex education in schools compulsory.

In short, the draft law is a marked improvement over its antiquated predecessor. But like its predecessor, the measure does not include specific provisions directing the government to promote condom use. This is a big mistake.

An improved official response to the epidemic is crucial. The government itself has declared the HIV epidemic a national emergency. The United Nations program on HIV/AIDS, known as UNAIDS, has determined that over the past six years, the Philippines has had a 140 percent increase in the number of new infections. Low condom use has been identified as the main reason HIV has exploded in the Philippines in the past decade. A 2016 Human Rights Watch report documented the government’s failure to conduct national campaigns to promote condom use. In February, the new UNAIDS country director for the Philippines announced that advocating condom use and comprehensive sex education were key planks in the agency’s strategy.

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The failure to make promotion of condom use an official government priority reflects a damaging defeat by the ideological biases of conservative lawmakers and the Catholic Church over proper public health practice. Condoms, when used properly, are scientifically proven to be one of the best methods to prevent HIV transmission. Unless that message is integrated into the new AIDS law – perhaps during the harmonizing of the two congressional versions, or during the drafting of implementing rules and regulations – the struggle to contain the epidemic will get even tougher.

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Phl’s HIV and AIDS policy about to be strengthened

The Philippine Senate finally approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to reform the country’s 20-year-old legal framework and approach towards the prevention and control of HIV and AIDS in the country.



Change is coming… hopefully.

The Philippine Senate finally approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to reform the country’s 20-year-old legal framework and approach towards the prevention and control of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the country.

Senate Bill No. 1390, or the “Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act”, authored by Sens. Risa Hontiveros and Joseph Victor Ejercito, will update Republic Act 8504, or the “Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998,” to incorporate lessons from the current HIV response, as well as “to introduce newer evidence-based, human rights-informed, and gender transformative strategies to prevent and treat the epidemic.”

SB 1390 mandates the government to “improve access to HIV services, especially for key populations and vulnerable communities, and ensure social and financial risk protection for those who need to access these services.”

To do this, the bill mandates the allocation of more funds on HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and require “up-to-date education about HIV and AIDS in schools, communities, workplaces and vulnerable areas.”

The bill will also compel the government to “enhance anti-discrimination protection to promote the human rights of Filipinos living with HIV, key populations and vulnerable communities, and providers of HIV services.”

In a statement, Hontiveros said that “at a time when stigma overrules government policies on this important health issue, we need to underscore that the foundation of curbing HIV must be based on the protection of human rights.” And so “this is our way of updating the government framework on HIV-AIDS. We need a scientific, medical, human rights-based and inclusive policy to fully address the problem.”

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The number of HIV and AIDS cases in the country continues to rise, with the Department of Health (DOH) recording a total of 11,103 cases in 2017. Based on records, the 11,103 new infections seen in 2017 is higher than the 9,264 cases reported in 2016; 7,831 in 2015; 6,011 in 2014; 4,814 in 2013; and 3,338 in 2012.

The House of Representatives passed a similar measure in December 2017. Both chambers of Congress will now convene for a bicameral conference committee to finalize the bill’s version for ratification and the President’s signature to turn it into law.

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@Mike_Fozz: ‘Having HIV isn’t the end; fight on’

Meet HIV-positive @Mike_Fozz, who says that the best lesson others like him can learn is to fight on. “This is not the end. There are so many living proofs that there’s life after HIV,” he said. “Love yourself, and believe me… you’ll be okay; we will be okay.”




This is part of “More than a Number”, which Outrage Magazine launched on March 1, 2013 to give a human face to those infected and affected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the Philippines, what it considers as “an attempt to tell the stories of those whose lives have been touched by HIV and AIDS”. More information about (or – for that matter – to be included in) “More than a Number”, email; or call (+63) 9287854244,  (+63) 9157972229 and (+632) 536-7886.

By Stephen Christian Quilacio

On December 1, 2013, @Mike_Fozz decided to take the HIV test, just as the world observed the annual World Aids Day, by going to the now closed RITM satellite clinic in Malate, Manila.

“I always had myself tested even before (that),” he recalled, “and I (was) very confident with my HIV-negative status.”

But he recalled prior to getting tested that day that – in the third week of November 2012 – “I met someone and we engaged into a ‘No Strings Attached’/‘Friends with Benefits’ relationship. He’s guwapo, borta, makinis (handsome, muscular and had clear complexion) and looked perfectly fine and healthy. You wouldn’t think that he has (HIV). Every time we see each other, siyempre hindi nawawala ang (of course we always had) sex. And tried both protected and unprotected sex. We ended our NSA relationship in February of 2013.”

In the summer of 2013, “I started to have rashes on my skin. I thought it was just bungang araw (prickly heat) because of the very hot weather. But after a few days it turned out to be a chicken pox; I was so worried because it was my first time to have it.”

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While he was getting treatment, @Mike_Fozz said he read every info about chicken pox. And then he came across one that stated that one of the causes of having chicken pox is a “weak immune system”.

“That was the time I started reading articles about HIV,” he recalled.

It also got him so scared that he stopped having sex from May to November of 2013.

Instead, because he said he already felt something happening in his body, he became a voracious reader on everything related to HIV. He planned to get tested, and “I needed to prepare myself for the result, whatever it may be.”

When his reactive result was given him, “nalungkot ako (I was sad), of course,” @Mike_Fozz recalled. “But life must go on.”

That very day, @Mike_Fozz said his way of looking changed. “I promised myself to be more positive in every aspect of life. Whatever negative thing is happening, as much as possible, I try to turn the situation into something positive.”

This is why “I became closer to my family,” he said. Also, “I became more focused on everything that I do. I also quit smoking; don’t party as often; and everyday, I make sure that I get eight hours or more of sleep. In short, I became more disciplined.”

@Mike_Fozz’s CD4 count was 403 when he was diagnosed to be HIV-positive, so he chose not to start his antiretroviral therapy immediately. But in June 2014, when his CD4 count went down to 356, he started his taking his ARVs immediately. With his regimen (Lamivudize, Zidovudine and Efaverinz; LZE), “thankfully, I did not experience any side effects,” he said. He was able to raise his CD4 count again, and he now has undetectable viral load.

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“You just need to be committed,” he said. “Never skip and religiously take your meds and you’ll be fine.”

For @Mike_Fozz, the biggest challenge an HIV-positive person can experience is still “discrimination from our society,” he said. And so “I try to teach and educate (people) sa abot ng makakaya ko (to the extent of my capabilities). I tell them that today, PLHIVs can actually live normal lives; that you cannot get it by shaking hands hugging, kissing, and so on.”

He is glad, of course, that there are other PLHIVs who helped him go through life; on top of “the strength I get from my family”.

@Mike_Fozz actually had a chance to confront the person he suspected to have infected him. Right after his tests in RITM (his treatment hub), he created a faux Facebook account and looked for his ex-sexual partner. When he found him, he started chatting with the guy; but this time, he was upfront with him, asking him “saan ang treatment hub mo (where is your treatment hub)?”

The guy allegedly said “RITM”, and that he knew of his status since 2008, thereby confirming @Mike_Fozz’s suspicion.

And so he came out to the guy.

That guy was apologetic, claiming that he had undetectable viral load, so he didn’t know how he could have infected @Mike_Fozz.

Everything at that point became “he said, he said”, and “me, who committed to continue with my journey and just go on with my life, decided to just forgive him. Inisip ko na lang na hindi naman ako gagaling na kahit saktan or ipakulong ko pa siya (I thought that I won’t be cured if I hurt him or have him jailed).”

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As an HIV-positive person, the best lesson @Mike_Fozz can teach others who are also HIV-positive is to fight on. “This is not the end. There are so many living proofs that there’s life after HIV,” he said. “Just learn to live a balanced life, live healthy, take your meds on time, listen to your doctor, love yourself, and believe me… you’ll be okay; we will be okay.”

And for HIV-negative people out there?

“Please stay negative,” @Mike_Fozz said. “Huwag makipagsapalaran sa isang gabing sarap (Don’t play with your life for fun for just one night). Think before you fuck!” (with Michael David C. Tan)

Follow @Mike_Fozz on Twitter.

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