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Care for HIV-infected Patients (Excerpt)


Care for HIV-infected Patients

Wang Jing Sha Bihong Jia Hongyang

On November 30, 2004, President Hu Jintao shook hands with a HIV-infected patient. On December 8, CCTV-10 “Welfare Action” presented a documentary Walk with Love-a Story of an HIV-infected Person. It fully presented the HIV-infected patient whose assumed name was Lao Ji. Since 1997 when he was infected with HIV, he went through various difficulties in escaping from the death line. Check the news -- President Hu Jintao shakes hands with the patient and encourages him to fight with the disease.

He thought about committing suicide when the ward mate next to his bed passed away

In 1997, Lao Ji from a poor family got infected with HIV by selling blood. The local epidemic prevention department suggested him to make a diagnosis in Beijing. Before getting on the bus, Lao Ji’s wife cried a lot. Lao Ji also was very scared that he said goodbye to his wife and children with a sense of permanent departure.

After getting off, Lao Ji found that the doctors from Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention waiting for him at the station exit. Until they warmly sent him to Beijing Ditan Hospital, Lao Ji relaxed a lot. Upon arriving at the hospital, the doctor drew blood from Lao Ji and sent them to the ward. At the dinner time, Lao Ji satisfactorily said to his ward mate, “Life here is much better than that at home. No dish for me at home, let alone meat.”

After a week, the cruel laboratory report came as a death warning to Lao Ji. More than a month later, the ward mate next to his bed passed away, and this made him fear further. He could not help asking himself: “Will I die in this way?” Then he ate nothing, drank nothing, sleepless, and got uncooperative with the nurses, talking little with other ward mates. Even he sneaked out quietly and smoked while squatting on the balcony, thinking of committing suicide for the first time.

He began to cheer up to help others at the “Family of Red Ribbon”

When Lao Ji prepared to commit suicide in fear, he found that three nurses talked with him in turns and took care of him considerately. During talking with them, Lao Ji recognized his responsibility for his parents, wife and children. So he began to cooperate with the doctors, then he turned out to be better. On one afternoon at early winter, the head nurse Wang from “Family of Red Ribbon” took Lao Ji to the “Family of Red Ribbon”.

In 1996, “Family of Red Ribbon” was built in Beijing Ditan Hospital. The “Family of Red Ribbon” was a special place for the HIV-infected patients to consult information, communicate and gather with others. Its purpose is to care about, understand and help the HIV-infected patients.

At the “Family of Red Ribbon”, Lao Ji learnt a great deal of information about protecting families and preventing the spread of HIV, and took part in many exchange activities. Unconsciously, he was not weak anymore and tried to enlighten and help others. Surprisingly, he found that assisting others also made himself feel happy. Since then, he had become a regular visitor of the “Family of Red Ribbon”.

Lao Ji at the “Family of Red Ribbon”

As half a year passed by, Lao Ji’s illness got controlled and was permitted to go home for recreation. He elatedly went to the second-hand home appliance market to buy a big color TV and brought home the red ribbon that saved his life.

Pu Cunxin went into his home when he despaired again

Lao Ji went home with the hope for a new life. To his surprise, a few years later, his disease was known to the villagers. Then Lao Ji lost all his friends and his family was also deserted by the villagers. To his more sadness, his children got discriminated because of the disease. The deep self-accusation made him eat nothing without appetite and cried a lot with tears.

When Lao Ji was sorrowful in pain and could not help himself, a big fire burnt up the crops harvested by the family in one year. The worsened condition made him think of committing suicide again.

At that time, a strange man wearing sunglasses went into his home. That man was Pu Cunxin, a voluntary propagandist for HIV knowledge. Not only did he teach children, but he had dinner with him. On his departure, Pu gave Lao Ji more than 1000 Yuan left in his wallet as he heard of Lao Ji’s fire. While talking about this matter, Lao Ji ceaselessly expressed his gratitude.

Organize “Winter Jasmine Self-saving Team” and bring the HIV-infected patients riches

In 2002, Lao Ji organized “Winter Jasmine Self-saving Team”. Among the 12 members of the self-saving team, there were 10 HIV-infected patients and 2 old retired CPC members. Lao Ji emptied a room in the small cave, made clear a bed, and changed it into a self-saving team activity room. The village party branch and the Association of Love bought him several office desks and chairs, and Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and “Family of Red Ribbon” sent him some publicity materials.

Lao Ji planned to organize the HIV-infected patients and carried out self-help production project. But how could he make money?

Lao Ji went to Beijing with three steamed buns made by his wife and walked around Wangfujing for 3 days. He happily found in an artwork shop some cloth tigers and tiger shoes on the counter, symbol of good luck, made by the village women at festivals for the children to play. He got a good idea!

Charity bazaar won support from society and earned 2228 yuan for the first time

In the autumn of 2004, Lao Ji brought the cloth tigers and tiger shoes to Beijing, and the artworks carried the hope and dream of the HIV-infected patients. He went to Wangfujing firstly, hoping that a shop can sell the artworks for him. But they refused to talk with him when they heard of “HIV”, even before he took out the cloth tigers and tiger shoes.

When Lao Ji was helpless and anxious, CCTV “Welfare Action” and “Family of Red Ribbon” organized a charity bazaar to help him. The bazaar won the support from Chen Zhangliang, Principle of China Agricultural University and the CAU Love Association.

At noon on November 19, 2004, the charity bazaar was started in the early winter wind. At 12:00 a.m., Guo Feng, the voluntary propagandist for HIV knowledge, went directly from the airport and acted as the voluntary seller.

The charity bazaar lasted for one and half hours during which all cloth tigers, sachets and tiger shoes were sold out. The members at the Love Association transferred 2228 yuan from the bazaar to Lao Ji. Lao Ji had tears in his eyes for the first income of “Winter Jasmine Self-saving Team”.

December 1, 2004 was the 17th World AIDs Day, which was like a festival for Lao Ji. After the “Welfare Action” broadcast the experience of Lao Ji, Han Xiaogang, a TV audience, purchased all his cloth tigers and tiger shoes, and planned to build a selling outlet in Shenzhen. And some other people succeeded in communicating with Lao Ji through “Welfare Action”…

Source: People’s Daily Overseas Edition

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