…and then all things went halogen bright
1 week ago
I was contemplating on having my HIV screening for the year soon but like those who were in the “pre-test” stage, anxiety builds up until it literally swallows your entirety. Then you will start to back track on the year that was, people you’ve been with and those “good times”. Then you try to remember the details of all the encounters – the protected and unprotected. All of a sudden “what if” question will fly and cast over your thought process. Your future, your family, friends, job all the things at stake. The things you failed to consider in the middle of the consummation of the act.
I was at that stage until over the weekend, coupled with fever and mild tonsillitis which freaked me out a bit and pile up to the anxiety in me. My thought: I am sick because my immunity is low, low immunity level “can be” equated to the big H
Monday (July 11)
It was just another busy day for me especially that I was out of the office for the last 2 days of the previous week. Anxiety is still there but courage is slowly building up to take the test, mabuti na malamang ng maaga. So I went to Google Manila Social Hygiene Clinic’s contact number for some inquiries. To my dismay, they are not available during weekends so I will have to take the test on a weekday. I cant decide on the day, Wednesday para Baclaran day or Friday para Quiapo day, silly me.
The day went on with the thought of having tested this week slowly being set aside. I stayed for work until 8:00 PM, just now I realized that work indeed is a very good diversion especially for critical personal decisions I have to make. It makes me buy more time, haha. When came home, the thought resurfaced but since I was tired, I shrugged it off. Before I sleep I told myself that if I will not be joining the following day’s meeting and the weather’s just fine, I’ll hit it!
Tuesday (July 12)
I woke up with two things in mind: how’s the weather and will I be attending the meeting. The weather turned out to be perfectly sunny, no overcast clouds, no signs of imminent rain. One down. I grabbed my phone and immediately sent an SMS to my boss, I got the reply while I was on a cab on my way to work, I don’t have to attend the meeting. There goes the next one down. I immediately instructed the cab driver to go to Manila Social Hygiene Clinic. Few minutes later, I was there.
I went to the second floor to where the clinic was located. I filled up a form and decided to use an alias and checked the box pertaining to non-disclosure of records. I was with another guy but I never engaged in any conversation. I waited for like 30 minutes before the nurse who will do the counseling arrived. The nurse was cool and perky and the counseling turned out to be her asking me things about my “moments” and believe me, mas balaj pa sya sa akin habang nakikipag-usap ako. After few minutes he asked to me to go to Room 106 for blood extraction which I hurriedly did, because at that moment people are slowly piling up on the ground floor and I don’t want to be seen. And so my blood was extracted and I was asked to go to the second floor again and wait for the result.
A little more than 5 minutes later, a guy approached me and asked for my name and then asked me to follow him to the counseling area. Upon entering the room, the balaj nurse handed me the paper saying “Oh non-reactive, you can enjoy ulit”. Those were the sweetest words at that moment, and then all things went halogen bright.
Friends, get tested.
Manila Social Hygiene Clinic –
Quiricada St (opposite San Lazaro Hosp), Manila
(02) 711 69 42