At last, after several months of uncertainties, I finally got an answer.
Totoo na 'to. The results are in. Dim the lights. Here we go!
The nurse already has the results inside an envelope. It wasn't sealed. She went inside the examining room. I followed. No heart-pounding, breathtaking moment for me as I sat down on one of the chairs, unlike when I was in the previous clinic where I had my first test done. I was really scared that time. (FYI: Until now, I don't have the result from them and I no longer have plans of getting the result. They can have it.) I think I was more at ease here. And so she sat on the other chair in front of me. No table in between which made the atmosphere a little less formal. She brought out 3 half-sheet sized papers, each containing the results of the 3 tests they did. (HIV, Hepatitis B, and Syphilis.)
I know I was immunized with Hep B vaccine during my college years so I was quite confident about it. Buti na lang pala may ganun. Ngayon ko lang actually narealize yung importance nun. As for syphilis, I just don't know. But as far as I could recall, I didn't have any painless ulcer in my genitals. Who knows, baka hindi ko lang napansin. The problem with chancre is that it may come and go without being noticed, lalo if you are not meticulous about personal hygiene. Sa HIV, that is something I am very uncertain.
She showed me the results. This is it! Drum roll please... I am nonreactive to Hep B, and syphilis. And as for my HIV test, let's just say my world shattered into a thousand pieces. Well, hindi naman thousand pieces, less than a hundred pieces lang siguro. Tumawad pa.
I was expecting for that result. I just needed a confirmation. And there it is. Confirmed!
nurse: "Don't worry blah blah blah blah blah..."
nurse: "You can blah blah blah blah blah..."
I nodded again.
Wala ako masyado naintindihan sa mga sinabi niya. Although naka-catch up naman ako after awhile and nagets ko rin yung mga sinabi niya, post-counseling stuffs, words of encouragement.
Selective inattention. My mind tried to grasp only what is most necessary. The rest of the information, later ko na lang naintindihan.
Ang daming naglalaro sa isip ko that time. Things about my future, my make-or-break, life changing challenge on February, my family, and my friends. What now?
The nurse made sure that she got a hundred percent compliance from me before ako nagpaalam. After that, lumabas na ko ng clinic with DM. Naglakad kami from the clinic hanggang sa Pedro Gil. Kwentuhan. Lutang. Lost. Hanggang sa naghiwalay na kami. He went home. I went home too, nagmamadali na makarating ng bahay before 7PM. Gusto ko maabutan yung season finale ng Survivor: Philippines. Parang wala lang nangyare. I needed a diversion, and that TV show was a good one.
Thanks ulit, DM for the company. Appreciated much!
As of now, it hasn't really sink in to me yet. Madalas pa ring lutang. Puyat palagi since the day the result came out. I lost my focus and I wanted it back.
Mukha lang ako okay, but my inside is in chaos. And I am not strong. Tamang timing lang ng magandang ambience ng kahit saang lugar, tamang emo na background music (this one is important), and a comfy shoulder to cry on, kahit hindi ka magaling mag-advice, for sure, bibigay din ako. That's what I've been wanting. Gusto ko na ilabas 'to. I wanted my emotions to burst out, and gusto ko yung one time big time lang para I could be myself again the following day. Medyo nakakagulo na kasi sa'kin.
And the least thing that I would want to hear from anyone is asking me to go out and have sex with him, since we are now both pozzie. A little respect please. Ngayon ko pa lang nalaman na positive ako, tapos aayain mo kagad ako ng sex dahil pareho na tayo positive. Huwag naman kagad ganun.
Besides, I don't want to be labeled as a "pozzie", "poz" just yet. Based on textbooks, you need to have at least 2 positive screening test (ELISA), and a positive confirmatory test (Western Blot) before you are diagnosed to have HIV infection. But yeah, in real life situation, hindi siya palaging nasusunod. Case to case basis pa rin. Pagbigyan niyo na ko, kunwaring in denial pa rin.
Sana panaginip lang ang lahat. A long, bad dream.
Nagising ako bigla sa lakas ng sigawan ng mga kapitbahay kaninang tanghali.
"Sinong nanalo? Knocked-out? Anong round?"
Shit, hindi pala. Nasanay na kasi kong 2 Sundays na magkasunod, laging sumisigaw ang mga kapitbahay pag napapatumba yung kalaban or pag tumutumba yung pambato nila. Akala ko may boxing na naman.
Miss U nga pala ngayon. Nabalitaan ko na lang, 1st Runner-up si Janine, congratulations! Kaya naman pala nagsigawan ang mga kapitbahay. Istorbo! :)
And Ms. USA ang nanalo. Oh well, saan nga ba ginawa yung Miss U ngayon? Ahh, sa Las Vegas.
I slapped my cheek as I got up. I'm not in a dream. I am HIV positive, and this is my reality.