On PrEP v2

A week during on PrEP was a struggle – the side effects were making me lethargic, brought me all week nausea, lost gym strength and libido, and the worse, it brought back glimpses of depression I experienced post breakup. After 10 days, I was getting used to the sides until I received a call from LoveYourSelf to visit the clinic immediately. I shrugged and didn’t think about it a lot knowing that it was due to my HIV PCR result.

Last weekend, I went to the clinic and I was informed that my PCR came back with <34 copies/ml. Mind that this is a very sensitive and a quantitative test, so being a statistician, I know that this could be a result of a false-positive because the test is highly sensitive. I was also asked to take a break from taking Tenofovir until the new result comes in.

So, that day, I took another rapid antigen test and my blood was sent for another PCR test. So, I have to wait for another week or so or until the results are available. The 2nd antigen test was non-reactive, so I was relieved from thinking that my first antigen was invalid due to clinical dormancy period.

This weekend, my confirmatory qualitative PCR test was released – “Target not detected”. My PrEP counselor said that according to the principal investigators, I could have been exposed to HIV infection previously but the replication was unsuccessful. Given that due to my high risk sexual behavior previously, it is not highly unlikely that this could have happen but they never mentioned that it could also be a false-positive.

Anyway, I am back to the regimen. Here ye side effects again!


LoveYourSelf Inc., via Project PrEPPY (PrEP PILIPINAS), is making PrEP available in the Philippines. I have signed up last year and I received the invitation a month ago.

Last weekend was my appointment to have my overdue HIV testing. It was my first time doing it at LoveYourSelf Anglo because I always do it at DOH Marikina since it is just 5 minute walk away from our house. Both of them offer confidential free testing and provide counseling before receiving the result.

Since I am included in this pilot study, as an additional benefit, I will be provided with free pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV for the next few months, even after the study finishes in a year from now. Compared from the usual questionnaire, signing up for PrEPPY have more specific and personal questions about my sexual lifestyle, knowledge on HIV prevention and PrEP and also will be required to periodically be tested for HIV, STIs and monitor my health particularly kidney function.

As to much overdue (yes, again) cardiologist checkup, my PrEP doctor requires me to do a complete blood chem and I need to visit my cardiologist soon so I would know the status of my heart, specially my valves, as I have not been taking another prophylaxis for my rheumatic heart disease. On top of the log, I also nee to monitor my blood pressure for the next few days so I can show something to my PrEP doctor and cardiologist.

I will be logging my pill intake, sexual activity and also record feedback from friends and some people regarding the social impact and feedback they’ll be giving during the course of the study.

Vivid Dream

Hey! I am down with flu. It sucks because whenever I get sick with influenza, my minimum recovery time is 5 days yet I am here at work on my 4th, feeling light-headed trying to finish my work so I won’t be stumped by the end of the week.

Two nights ago when I could hardly breathe while sleeping, I think I was in trance again. I remember that two years ago, I was half-awake and could feel and literally hear the audio surrounding me while I was nursing my bad hangover after going to the club with Ron and JJ. It was that time when I could feel my muscles being massaged by GABA (one of the hormones which paralyzes your voluntary muscles during REM).

But this time, it was slightly different. Though I did not feel the “massage feeling” but I definitely could control what’s happening in my dreams. Given that there was an architect who designed the setting, I literally would know how the plot would end. It could be because I was half-awake so my pre-frontal cortex provides some logic reasoning but each segment of my dream was so en pointe that I think I was understanding my subconsciousness.

In the next few days or so, I will be writing chapters of what transpired during my trance. I just wish I could remember all the minutest details but I still have a grasp of the overall plot. The last time I had vivid dreams that I could still remember was when I was in primary school – I can still picture the setting, the floral garden, the slithering wooden stairs but at the top, it was total darkness. This time, it was different a setting, from finding a rainbow umbrella, to a haunted fraternity house then towards enclosed community ran by some governor. Weird shit, right?

Hello, I am Back!

It has been a while. Indeed, gradschool and work pressed my time that I lost track how long since I last wrote a decent post. So far, I am better, a lot better! After stopping my post-recovery meds and talked with him, things are much clearer now. Until I need to face another decision.

I have never been good in decision analysis – it could be why I prefer doing classification and regression trees (CART) because it help me decide for me. As it mimics a non-linear pattern of life, the nodes can simply tell you to leave or stay given all circumstances, predictors, feelings and other factors involved that could give you an overview what are the decision paths.

How could I be so weak on this and why am I being so selfish? I remember posting on which path should I take. This still stands until last night; whether I could be wrong or just excited to take a good leap of faith to the other who once left.

Seriously, I am afraid to end things with you. We were never perfect but we have always made it right. You have always been my support, with you being my strongman, you have never left my side, fought what we have and provided the most unconditional love I felt in my entire life. But why am I leaving you?


Just because I find a deeper stronger connection with somebody else, should I take a chance with the other? I know that at the back of my mind, if I don’t do this, it will always haunt you that you feel that we are temporary and just waiting for relationship to fail so I can start with the other. I’m sorry making you feel that that way, even it is unintentional, I could never deny it from you as you have always seen me within inside-out.

I admit that we stopped talking about our future somewhere in the middle of last year. Just like the song goes that “maybe sometime’s love just ain’t enough”. But if I stay, I could just be prolonging my selfishness that I could never give my full love, attention and time because the other keeps crossing my mind. I am pretty sure that if we really part ways soon, you’ll never be out of my mind, too which will be unfair to the other. Besides, whenever Cocoa licks my face in the morning or demands for a hug, it will feel like its coming from you because we both decided to get her and cared for her.


This post feels like I am going in circle. It is not surprising because until now, I still can’t decide. What we agreed upon last night was because of the guilt of hurting you as we go along if we continue and a mixture of another guilt that I will be leaving you soon despite all the things you have done for me.

But not everything is guilt. What makes it hard for me to do this is I have never loved you less. From the moment we shared together 2 years ago of October 31, I never bat an eyelid of hurting you.

Doing the countdown is hard. I will avoid doing so because I will be a crybaby (as I have always been) until that day that we end our story together. I just need a good sign, not reasoning, that what we decided is wrong.