01 November 2010

My Relative Has AIDS

I recently paid an ailing woman a visit. Already joining the little chosen group of people that has made it past 100 years old, she already has seen the world longer than most people did. She particularly mentioned my name to my sister who had visited her earlier so it wouldn't feel good not to visit her at least while she was still alive.

I am not gonna write about her though. 100 years of breathing the air of the world, what else she could ask for. Instead, I'm gonna write about her youngest daughter who happened to be there to take care of her ailing mother.

This daughter of hers has Acquired immune deficiency syndrome.. yupp, she has AIDS..

Out of respect for the family, I’m not gonna post in any picture of them. A picture doesn’t necessarily say a thousand words. What I’m bringing you into requires an opening of the heart and not the eyes.

Sitting face to face with her, she told me how she got it from her husband. And she wasn't secretive about how her husband had contracted the deadly virus. He got it from a girl who worked at a beauty parlor. I don't think any further enquiries were needed to be asked as to how exactly the virus was passed over to him.
Being surrounded by relatively a conservative community, something like AIDS is surely something of a subject of jeers - almost like a taboo or an unspoken. Something that people whisper from one to another - so silent and yet so loud.

She told me how people began to stay away, not only from her and the husband but the whole family. It was a strong blow beyond imagination and the whole family had to undergo an emotional torture to the extent that – they could hardly face the outside world. She told me how the orang kampongs (villagers) would rather take a long walk off the track then coming face-to-face with them in the street. Imagine how painful it is for them. Even their own relatives look at them like some kind of ghosts or dirty germs or something.

The pressure on the whole family was so intense that the youngest son who was barely 18 could no longer take it he began to let it out by frequently beating his ailing mother up. She told me how she had to escape from home for a few days until the son regained his senses. And it’d happen again.

You see, contracting AIDS is already a matter of life and death. But they seem to be punished with death penalty long before they have given up on their life.

Just to know that somebody that I can call relative is suffering from AIDS is pretty much devastating. Even more devastating it is to know how the community reacts to something they have contracted against their will.

People, we have the responsibility of telling everybody how to support the patients of AIDS from suffering more than they already are. AIDS is no more a myth or isolated cases in our society. We do have people suffering from AIDS within our very own community and even in our own neighborhood. So again people, let’s spread the words out. Let them know that rest is assured for them because coming near to an AIDS patient wouldn’t expose them to any transmission of AIDS at all.


You might be too broke to give them some financial support but at least you can give something that is far more valuable – emotional support.
Start saying HI to AIDS victims now..

10 comments:

thomas said...

It's human nature to be like that for fear of the unknown,
i'd a friend who had AIDS
but he kept it a secret until his death.

JIPP said...

ya Thomas. Apparently they can't bring themselves to telling ppl about it considering how the community is gonna react. Sad. :-(

chegu carol said...

im not so sure how i would react to people who contracted AIDS. i might feel the same way as the kampung people...or i might not. i just hope if i chance upon one, i'd be able to bring myself to act as usual.

thanks for sharing this Jipp.

JIPP said...

I am sure you can act normal Carol..

aud said...

I've never met any one with AIDS. Earlier years I was ignorant, afterwards I knew and understood it better. My heart goes out to those who are 'innocent victims', like the wife you mentioned here.

Gallivanter said...

I haven't met anyone with AIDS either, although maybe I did, they didn't brought it up. Unfortunately, the media has drummed into society's mind that AIDS is a big no-no, and when we hear that a person has AIDS, we assume the worst, and question that person's character.

AIDS or any other diseases wouldn't matter to me, a friend's still a friend, a person's still a person.

JIPP said...

Aud: Yeah, although it is very easy for us to judge but what we don't realize is that many of them are victims.
Gallivanter: Yeah, you've got it just right. IT's the society that drum it all up, putting it as something of a punishment when many of them were just 'victimized'. ANd yes, friend is still a friend, a person is still a person. Relative is still relative. :-)

Shirleen said...

I agree with you. People are being punished just because they have AIDS. It is the mentality of the people that needs to be changed..

fufu said...

wow wow wow... i dont know if i would dare to tell if i got aids ><

JIPP said...

Shirleen: Yupp, we gotta change the mentality. They need support, not jeers.
Fufu: Quite understandable. Esp when we have unsupportive society. I think most Aids victims would rather keep it. But you don't have it now, do u? hehe. just kidding.

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