This is a short essay I composed is dedicated to the first patient I have who confide to me that he has HIV-AIDS.
Justin, not a real name, came to me on my Facebook when I was a medical student. He was an acquaintance from one of those circle of older friends. Somberly as I recall it. He just made a confession that he was diagnosed with HIV. I was just a freshly graduated medicine student, who barely know how to treat a common flu, has just confide to me that he has the most dreadful killer of the LGBT community. I was held back, in panic sort of, and didn’t know what to do; I shuddered at the thought. I wanted to help, but I don’t know how. I told him to seek professional help, and a community, probably. I just don’t know. I forgot to followup, and promised myself to keep that secret to the grave. It was a strong taboo as a young member of the LGBT community.
And to the grave it went. He died a few years. I don’t know what happened. I don’t even care to know what he did. And I feel somehow responsible a little bit for not knowing the things I should have known.
An honest part of me feels guilt, and the wiser part of me tells that there are things outside my control, especially those what happened in the past. The younger part of me claimed that patient as my failure but the wiser part of me says it is a part growth as a doctor, no, as a person, to accept death as a part.
Other people would often say that the LGBT is a stain and that the HIV is the punishment for sodomy bullshit. It happens in the hospital, sadly, labeling of a suspected PLHIV if the patient presents and immuno-compromised laboratory. If there is a grain of truth in that well it is only half true. The other truth lies on those other people themselves who already signed up in hell for passing these nonsense judgement on the afflicted LGBT people, who are in fact, probably contracted it in the pursuit of self-affirmation and love (which is not a bad thing, everybody deserves it). Stop the victim blaming and shaming. Many people I have known have done blacker deeds than having sex with the same sex so I have to cringe I hear that non-sense.
But maybe the things we can do is honor the past by doing what is right in the present. So be kind to everyone. Listen, not only hear. Scrutinize, not only see. Make everything matter. Kiss your mother and tell her you love her even how awkward it is for you. See that beggar outside your convenience store? Well give him some food. You know someone who has HIV? Say hi and hello, and how are you. They won’t bite and they would appreciate it. Funny thing s that life is flees from us every seconds, but it takes a lifetime to regret the things we haven’t said or done.
When life throws a party, it is always never fair, but we can always fuck that party in the mouth.