Friday, June 10, 2005

I had my final AIDS test done on Monday, and I got the results today. After what seemed like A FUCKING YEAR the nurse returned and we went into a small office and she told me that my blood did not contain any antibodies for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus known, the agent that depletes your immune system and causes a condition known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, in which your T-cells are reduced to such a low amount that infections and diseases that the body can normally fight off suddenly start appearing. And I don't have it. Thank God. The clinic here in Vallarta was actually quite well maintained and the nurse who managed my case, Mayra, was very well prepared and informed; their methods really compared quite well to the treatment I received in London, I was pleasantly surprised.

A few months back I approached the local AIDS organization in town and offered my services. They run a program that provides information, support and medication to AIDS patients. You can imagine how hard it is to do this in a small beach city in Mexico, so anything they do is a great victory.

Their web site sucks, tho, so I offered to initially help them out with that. I really would like to participate in an education campaign (I'm revamping their old PowerPoint presentation) and maybe even help out or accompany patients (even if my work schedule makes it difficult). The idea used to frighten me terribly. Even though it sounds mean, I was horrified by the notion of being in close contact with somebody who had AIDS or HIV even. They personified death for me, and my first instinct was to run.

Well, I finally saw the world through their eyes. And I got myself better educated. I saw first hand how cruel it was to have your world collapse around you because of disease and then have your closest loved ones flee from your side. It's almost unbearable. This disease carries a very strong social stigma with it... it doesn't just kill your body; it kills your soul and your spirit. I hope I will be able to change that. I have always believed things happen for a reason, and I think this is my reason.

On a side note, I read that trained nurses are in grave shortage in developed countries. The USA, UK and other first-world nations are opening their borders to nurses from developing countries all over the world, and it has sparked debate, especially in Africa, because they are losing badly needed trained health-care workers. Even though I often dream of leaving this crazy, pitiful and amazing country some day, I was so fucking happy Mayra was here to talk to me and calm me and make me feel better and not somewhere else. Food for thought.


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