My quest for the human side of AIDS, a personal experience - Part I


Our city has not been spared with statistics has reliable sources revealed that many  young people are affected, others people in uniform and a lot more I am certain but their identities cannot be revealed as it is violative of the law. The problem is, no plans are set by local governments to combat the issue ergo, the numbers are sure to rise especially so that most people are not knowledgeable of the issues and the core of the problem.

Ever since I started my blog regarding my decision to stand up against discrimination, for LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgenders) Rights and against HIV and AIDS, my interest roused and decided to venture into an exciting discovery, get to know those who are susceptible to HIV AIDS.

My quest for information begun in the internet where got a fill which I am safe to say that I am now abreast with the medical side of HIV but not the cure as there have been none available yet but I am certain there will come a time that the cure will be at hand, similar to tuberculosis before, dreaded as it was, cure is already at hand and so as other equally dreaded diseases.

But the answers to questions of the human side of the disease remains an issue, except for the fact that people get it because of their unsafe sexual habits and their lack of adequate knowledge about the spread of HIV and AIDS especially the youth.

Spending days in Manila not knowing what to do, I made my fingers do the walking and talking and discovered a lot of avenues for the spread of the disease. There are a lot of websites offering male and female escorts for a fee complete with all the description of the escorts or masseurs for hire that render extra service. Extra service means sex, whether how you interpret it, it boils down to unprotected sex which is a leading cause of the spread of HIV and AIDS.

In various malls also of the big metropolis, there are also people who do “business” like SM and Robinsons. They usually are found near elevator railings watching people that go up and try to establish eye contact that if your eyes would meet and speak without words, then that person, a commercial sex worker as we can call them, would follow you and begin the trade with a “getting-to-know you” approach or a comment about the weather at times. It all now depends upon the prospect if the basics are agreed. Basics would mean the fee and the venue.

In all these escapades, this is where the government failed to address as these workers are not easy to find as they look like the usual people in malls and other public areas and in the internet, they are not easy to find as they present themselves as escorts and masseurs or masseuse and the trade, per se, is not illegal.

So, my trek begun and here is the story.

Eeyan, the mall guy:

He is 24, good looking moreno, stands around 5’9” and has a well sculpted body as he regularly goes to the gym. He is the son of an actor, not that popular but was part of the soap opera in ABS CBN before which was made into a movie. They live an affluent life as the father earns well with work, every kid in the family schooled until one day, lives changed.

Their house was demolished due to their defeat in a civil case involving the land where their house is located against a wealthy Chinese who did everything just to make their lives miserable. He claimed that his father was set up and arrested allegedly due to drugs and is now in prison facing life imprisonment. While the father was in prison, they were also left homeless but stayed in the area where their house had been using their furniture and cabinets as walls and foundation and used a “trapal” for roofing to protect them from the heat of the sun and rain. But the sun and rain took its toll and made them sick and made their furniture and fixtures worn and torn so they decided to transfer and rented a small shack in Paco, Manila with the agreement among brothers that they share in the rentals and other expenses. They were so crossed with the talks circulating that they are a family of drug pushers and because of such, the brothers decided to live it up and decided to sell drugs just to make ends meet. Selling shabu just to meet the daily demands of life, they did and eventually got arrested but Eeyan admitted the fault to save his younger brother from jail. Eeyan was eventually jailed and was placed in the cell where his father was incarcerated and thought that this was the end of his hopes.

Before he was arrested, he was already a father of one and has a common law wife living with him but during his stay in prison, his partner found another man and left him. He lost hope, being put to prison and left by the woman he loved so much. Good thing, he did not stay long in prison as the arresting officer never showed up in the hearings that is why, his case dismissed so he was released.

He started to learn a decent job repairing cellular phones in Ever Gotesco, and was able to pay the rent of his stall due to the demand of his job until technology advanced leaving him behind and unable to save due to his generosity having 12 children more from 5 different partners.

He was distraught and had to find work that is why he agreed to learn massage from a friend whom he thought is earning good from home and hotel service. He also learned that having a handler (bugao) is also helpful as he is still starting the business but eventually let go of his handler as he wants to get all the earnings for himself.

I asked him if he knows about STDs, HIV and AIDS and all he answered was he knows of unprotected sex alone as the cause but when I asked if he protects himself from the virus, he said it all depends on the client, others just want plain massage others want more after massage.

The sad thing is, most of his clients do not demand protection. The saddest part is, he also does not insist. At this score, both parties are indeed are at risk. I tried to talk to him about the risk and he always put it aside, I sense that he is also afraid of it but seem helpless about it as this is seemingly the only job he knows where he depends for his and his family’s subsistence.

We were talking for hours and I tried my best not to be a bore but I was just to him as I paid for his time though we never got the chance to have the massage and the extra service because I am afraid. This is not the type of man that I should die for. I have my Richard, the man I love and will definitely die for, not due to AIDS but of old age, hopefully.


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