I was chatting with TennisGal when I found out that a common friend was tested HIV positive.
Wayne is gay.
The search is now on to trace the source of the virus and inform the connected parties to get them to go for testing and to identify those who are infected to seek treatment immediately.
The problem with HIV in Singapore is that a huge majority of the people are ill informed of this. We tend to sweep it aside thinking that it won't happen to us and so the lack of urgency to understand it better.
HIV is not really that big a problem. As long as the virus via medication is kept under control, the patient would be able to lead a normal life for a long time. It is only when HIV progresses to AIDS that the issue of the person's mortality comes into question.
What gets my goat are people, with little or not proper knowledge of HIV, treating the infected patients like as if they have the plague or leprosy.
HIV patient is also a person like everyone else and so it is uncalled for to treat them with contempt and disrespect.
HIV can only be transmitted via sexual secretions (unprotected sex) and/or blood (sharing of needles, transfusion, etc) and in the case of Wayne who is a male, the third route of mother passing the virus to the foetus is irrelevant in this particular case.
For now, Wayne's condition is only known to people around him. The Gahmen are not aware yet as the test was done in a private hospital and at present, his employer is also unaware.
Wayne is in a bad situation right now as it is not known if the employer would discriminate against HIV patients. Losing his job would mean a loss of income to sustain his medical expense, which may aggravate HIV to escalate to AIDS in an accelerated fashion. As he is not a Singaporean, notifying the Gahmen may mean instant deportation back to his place of nationality. If he is deported, his job in Singapore is gone and gaining re-employment back home may be a big obstacle as a result of his condition which has to be declared at time of application.
It is in my opinion that the Gahmen stance against HIV patient is very harsh and somewhat inhumane. Rather than showing empathy and giving support, pressing the eject button seems all so easy and convenient.
Deportation is the quickest way of solving the HIV population growth in Singapore as it is in a way a passing of the buck. A swift boot out of the country and it is out of sight, out of mind, other people's problem liao.
Perhaps it is due to the fact that male-male homosexuals are the highest risk, that the Gahmen takes a very tough stance against them. Hence, the people's anger against the Gahmen's hypocrisy of saying that Singapore is moving towards an all encompassing society while vigilantly sweeping them out the door, behind our backs.
Around the same time last year, the big hoohah was a significantly large group of people petitioning the Gahmen to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code of Singapore where it criminalises consenting sexual intercourse between adult males.
I did not support the cause. Not because I am against male homosexuality but only because homosexual Singaporeans don't know how to take care of themselves. Though it's not fair to make a sweeping statement to say all of them are ignorant but certainly a very large portion to justify the cause for alarm, judging by the rapidly growing statistics.
Before I get any hate mail from the gay community, let me draw a parallel with the case where we banned the sale of chewing gum back in 1992.
The ban of chewing gum was mooted by LKY way back in the mid-1980s where we were seeing chewing gum indiscriminately disposed off everywhere, causing a public nuisance. The last straw came when idiots starting sticking the gum on MRT door sensors, hindering the proper operation of the subway system.
The rationale behind the ban is simple. If you don't know how to dispose of gum properly, then perhaps you don't deserve to chew gum.
Many complain that this strong-arm tactic was way too autocratic but what have we shown to the Gahmen that such draconian measures are not needed?
If you were look at the conditions of the trains in the New York subways and ours, you would realised that the minor inconvenience of no chewing gum does benefit everybody lots in the long run.
Same goes for the Gahmen's attitude towards homosexual males. One may complain about the inhumanity of discriminating people of such orientation and protest the right of the Gahmen to play God.
But ask yourself this. With the booming number of cases in recent years of HIV amongst the male gay community, how do you present a convincing case to the Gahmen that the male gay community is not a problem?
Still, typical of the Gahmen's elitist and scholastic
fashion, the current modus operandi is less than acceptable but it does solve the problem quickly in the short run. Problem is that we don't see Gahmen presenting any long term solution such as recognising the problem, supporting the support groups and educating the public.
The spike of HIV cases in recent years is something not to be taken lightly. Perhaps the current approach of the Gahmen is the only way to deal with the rising numbers at such short notice?
Perhaps our only fear is that our Gahmen would take this and extend it to become the country's long term solution?
However, both the chewing gum case and 377A have something in common, both have a sunset intent i.e. both legislation are not meant to be cast in stone. The underlying intent is that until a day where we learn to dispose our gum proper; until a day where homosexual males know how to take care of themselves proper; the ban of chewing gum will be lifted; the Section 377A of the Penal Code of Singapore will be repealed.
Good luck, Wayne. You are still loved as a friend. Regardless.
Image Credit: http://upload.wikimedia.org
6. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 28 August 2008 11:13 am ::
I said "IF" Singapore were to play the good samaritan. As for the notion that taxpayers' money is used to subsidise HIV patient treatment, I think we will have to wait for "Deportation Is Right" to respond. However, I doubt that is going to happen.
IF Singapore were to NOT deport every foreigner HIV case, that itself is a good samaritan act coz there are patients who have the money for treatment but unable to as the gahmen has already swept them out of the country, before the patients could even reach for the wallet.
Yes, the numbers are fast increasing but to the elite scholars, they are just that. Numbers. They don't care if you have found a cure for it. As long as the numbers are down, that's all that matters.
Unfortunately, we haven't found a cure and so the only way for them to lower the numbers is the remove them from the island and let it be somebody else's problem.
I'm always amused when Singaporeans call 'prawn fishing' prawning.