Just found this photo on the internet -- interesting, 498 on a battleship; because that's what your CD4 count is, really, your defence system against infections

Just found this photo on the internet — interesting, 498 on a battleship; because that’s what your CD4 count is, really, your defence system against infections

I got the e-mail yesterday. My CD4 count is now 498. In six months, I was able to raise it up by over a hundred points. My last CD4 count was 378 in January of this year and now it’s August and it is 498. Two more points and I’ll have the minimum CD4 of a regular person, without HIV.

And my viral load, after one year, is still undetectable. It’s so low that it isn’t attacking my immune system. My meds are still working and it’s all up to me now.

All my other lab results came out normal and my triglycerides are still high but it has decreased significantly since my last test. It is still outside extreme levels but it has gone down so that’s good, considering I don’t really follow the diet.

I attribute that towards yoga, really. Exercise really helps boost the immune system and it helps trim out the fat cells and I feel like it was instrumental in getting my bad cholesterol and triglycerides down. It also probably helped my immune system a lot.

I’m just so happy. This is what happens when you know and you take the lead in improving your life. The HIV doesn’t kill you. It can lead to further infections down the line that will kill you but if you take your meds and live a pretty healthy life — simply put, if you take care of yourself — then it will be alright. You will get better. You will get stronger.

Funny, because there are 498 newly diagnosed HIV infected individuals in June. 2014 alone. That’s 15% higher than it was last year and the numbers are growing steadily. I was on Grindr last night and someone asked me all these questions because he was afraid of taking the test. He thought he might have it. I told him to take it and he said, “He’s not ready. I might kill myself. I’ll do it next year.”

I have come to the point of making this a sort of motto: “If you make grown up decisions, then you have to live with the grown up consequences.” No one is excused and no one can hide behind their fragile personalities and characters in something as serious and dire as this. No one has to die of HIV complications because it’s all a matter of willpower and taking charge. It is all a matter of taking care of yourself. The worst part is, I have no guarantee that these people will stop doing the things that put them at risk in the first place. If they have it, they could be spreading it around themselves.

Take charge. Be accountable. Be responsible. Be safe, damn it! That’s 16 people getting infected with HIV everyday now here in Manila. What is going on with everyone? Why do they all have to be as dumb as I was back then?

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