Thursday, April 2, 2009
I posted out a survey asking this question:
“ What if a friend or a family member opens up to you that they're HIV positive? What will you do? How will you react?”
These are the response I received (unedited).
Roi said: ang gagawin ko yayakapin ko at hahawakan ko ang kamay nya at wala ko sasabhin na khit ano i would accept him/she...
Al said: I don't have a friend or family member who is HIV positive. A relative works for an NGO that deals with reproductive health and STDs, and I get to hear stories of individuals going through acceptance of a life with HIV. Also, being a blog hopper, I encounter various people online who have the virus and are living normal lives. Personally, I believe a person with HIV is just like everyone else, except that he has a disease in the blood. Just like leukaemia or haemophilia. An HIV positive individual is able to live a long life, but with extra care on hygiene and lifestyle check. I may not know what other aspects are involved in this, but it is unnecessary to marginalize HIV positive individuals within a discriminatory sphere similar to racism. HIV can not be contracted through kissing (except maybe swallowing a gallon of HIV saliva...), mosquitoes or holding hands. But a lot of people still don't believe that. Sigh. It is an ongoing advocacy for me, even if I know little about HIV. If ever a family member or friend has HIV, it wouldn't be much of a difference for me as how I treated him/her before they contracted the virus. A friend is still a friend, and the same goes to relatives.
Reyvn said: do not judge offer support respect their wishes
Allen said: Honestly, that would not be an easy situation to be in, both for my friend and me. But I guess what I would do is give him a really big hug. Then we'll take it from there. I wouldn't exactly know what to do, bo showing my friend that I'll always be there for him would help a lot, I think. =D
Mado said: I would probably be at shocked, but i would play in a blank face. I might probably cry yet be amazed of his courage and honesty. I would comfort him. I will make him see a different perspective of life. I will be his angel. I will be a friend. =)
Jason said: i was about to hit the bed when i decided to check my phone and browse facebook. then i saw your survey questions... to answer it...im sure i will be shocked...im positive that i will go through the usual stages ofgrief. denial -- no one can ever say that they will be able to absorb the whole impact of the situation over night. anger -- not towards the person, but towards the situation. bargaining -- im sure, ill find myself haggling for a " less serious" affliction for this person. depression - acceptance- its really hard to say, i guess you can never prepare yourself for situations such as this...but one thing is certain...i will exert all effort to make sure that this person will never ever feel rejected...i will make him feel that he doesnt have to go through this ordeal by himself because his family and friends will be there to support him... and i will make him realize that this is definitely a WAKE UP call...calling him to live this life to the fullest...to be grateful for the every detail of his life...to value the presence of his family and friends...and to know full well that the "problem" ahead of him is nothing compared to the POWER behind him.. and of course, i will unceasingly pray for him... =)
Norms said: Mabibigla ako sa una. Siguro i wont ask questions muna. Hayaan ko lang syang mag kwento. Paano ako mag rereact? I'll be sad at first. Then hug lang ng mahigpit na mahigpit. I wont say anything. Yung hug na yun, mararamdaman nyang he is not alone and nothing will change. What will i do? walang mag iiba...ganun pa rin ang respeto ko sa kanya. Hindi kabawasan sa pagkatao ang pagiging positive sa HIV.
Dah said: ill try to help in any way. and not discriminate against him.
Ducky said: i guess, there is not one reaction but rather, a series of reactions. in my case, i'd imagine, that the initial reaction will be the most natural and most honest, which is to feel "awa", "panghihinayang" and an overwhelming sadness. sweeping that aside, next would be the "curious" reaction, meaning i'd like to hear the story. how did he/she know? how did he/she get it? how is he/she dealing with it? etc. lastly siguro, would be my "tlf reaction", which is to check if he/she has access to medication and/or a support group. and a tight tight hug!
Den Angel said: first i'll be shocked and ask that person how he/she got it...I'll reasure the person that he or she is not alone in this and that my love and support will not change.
Jed said: It will help him to have friends who let him know that they love him, gay or straight, sick or healthy, and that they want to help him in whatever way they can. Try to be one of those friends.
Rude said: very emotional letter.... one that most everyone should be able to read and hopefully get tips from and get over their own biases.... having grown up in SF, CA -- I have see the BEST and WORST sides of people when dealing with the issue.... we are all our own person... arm yourself with the KNOWLEDGE and then ACT MATURELY... lets all do what we can to BEAT, or at least HELP COPE with this DEADLY DISEASE....
Wax said: Doesn't matter if HIV.....all sickness are the same to me. How will I react? Sad, shocked and full of questions. What will I do? Read about the sickness. Understand all I can so as not to be ignorant. Join forums, contact people who have the same. And if a friend or family comes to me with the news....i will feel honored because they trust me enough for them to let me know of their well being.
Anrgie said: Honestly, the first thing that bothered me was : "sya kaya ung meron HIV?". About the survey, feeling ko mahirap sya tanggapin. Its a chronic disease and it does not only attacks the physical but also the pysche. The person na meron nun ang pinakakalaban nya talaga sarili unless na lang nalampasan na nya ang denial stage at maaceept ang condition nya. It would also be hard for the family na tanggapin lalo na sa umpisa. Pero kapag nagtagal, im sure sila lng din ang makakatuulong. I hope di ikaw un.
Dense said: give him or her a big hug...and tell them...you will help him or her life more worthwhile..and assure them you will be at their side. you just have to think...what if you were in their shoes...what would you want?
Marlon said: Working with people living with HIV, di na dapat akong ma-shock. Pero in all honesty nakakagulat pa rin...pero kahit ano pa man ang mangyari ang friendship o pagiging ka-pamilya ay hindi mawawala... Ang pagbigay ng suporta tuloy lang...paglobby na patuloy na libre ang ARVs, at pag-refer sa kanila sa mga support groups for people living with HIV. yun ang reactions at gagawin ko.
Deanne said: Mr. Brian Shane Gorrell is a good friend of mine in here and he is one great person about this kind of issue. For me, there is nothing wrong of telling the Truths, having HIV/AIDS is honestly making a person hopeless but Acceptance is one thing very important, if you love someone who has this kind of disease accepting then there’s no issue how to deal or treat them right, loving someone is all about the whole, careless or who and what they are even mostly having a communicable diseases, it is also a best Test how important they are to us... just for me... there is nothing wrong with it. i would care and love continuously that person who has that mostly if that was one of my beloved =)
May said: My reaction I suppose would be the same as if that family member announced that he/she has cancer or any illness. I say this because I've recently had to react to a close friend's and a cousin's announcements that they have breast cancer. Of course, and I am sure of this now, my initial and automatic reaction would be concern, and I would want to know how he/she feels about it. I would want to know if he/she wants to talk about it fully with me, because I know, and I've often been told this, that I am a good listener, and that it is one of my gifts. I would also want to know if there is anything they would want me to do for them. On my own, I will do my research about the illness, because there might be some options I could suggest to my relative that he/she could check out, but most of the time, I will just be taking my cues from him/her.
Mat said: If I knew someone dear to me that they are HIV+, I'd readily give them a warm hug. Honestly, getting tested months back for HIV is nerve-wracking. I can't sleep at night thinking about the results, how will my Life change after that, and what people will think of me. I was anxious BIG TIME that it really scared the hell out of me.You may refer to my blogs, "I took the test" and "The Result" for reference. It was then that I started joining HIV+ support groups and attending social events related to HIV patients and those who died from AIDS. It was a heartwarming experience. I've also met positive people who had a very positive outlook in Life. I told myself that if my tests came out 'positive', I'd devote my time to spread the word and awareness towards HIV/AIDS and education to avoid discrimination. I know how most people think about HIV-positive people and it really pains me thinking that what-ifs if I were on their shoes. God-willing, my results came out to be negative and since then, I made a pact to always get tested and practice safe sex and encourage others to do the same. So far, I have convinced about 4 people on getting tested. It really feels good to help them know the truth about their health and thanking me for giving them the courage to do so. I know how it feels being anxious for the results and I kept on assuring them things will be fine. So far so good but I know the battle against unprotected sex is just beginning. So if you're to ask me how I'd react from someone admitting he or she is positive, I'd just speak it all out with a hug. Actions are sometimes better than words. No need to ask, no need to explain. Just making them feel that you're there makes it enough.
+A said: Individuals who are an HIV carrier must be treated with utmost respect, coequal to that of a monarchical blood. They are nonetheless living souls that are worthy of sympathy and acceptance more than ever considering the reality that they are unwell. Majority of our society's mentality had been indoctrinated that a person with HIV must be isolated; fearful that he/ she shall be infected of the venomous illness just by touching and or talking to the carrier. Empathy is what they need to boost the morale that is ailing so much than the malady itself.
Jay said: syempre full emotional support ang dapat maibigay.... :D let him feel he's not alone in this challenge... :)
Flex said: i'll be simple, modest and humble to them..
Amos said: be a friend who's always open and be supportive. not just by presence, but more importantly, with the spiritual matters in life. after all the anxiety and fear and worry, the day still ends with sleeping and the next day with waking. why not make the most out of each day that is given?
Bens said: I think I'll just be there for him. He needs someone to be with in that very crucial journey.. everythings gonna be fine. *tapik sa balikat
Nan said: hi there.. i work as a supervisor in a clinical laboratory.. i had proficiency training in HIV testing... that would include giving advise or counseling of HIV positive patients... an HIV positive individual needs lot of understanding... most of the people who recently found out that they are infected with the virus becomes suicidal... so you need to let them understand that HIV is not like cancer where a patient is given only few months or few years to live... there are new anti-viral drugs that prolongs the life of an HIV patient... give them a hug... comfort them... let them cry... give them company if they feel lonely... no has to know that a person has HIV... it's just he/she is advised not to engage in any sexual activity with other uninfected people... so life goes on... he/she can still go out, watch movies and enjoy... there's a foundation for HIV patients... Remedios AIDS Foundation in Manila
Ray said: I would be open and listen, be a caring and loving person. When the fren or family opens to me which means they trust me to let me know a news that's not easy for one to share. To me it's like you leading a fren on a tight rope. The fren is blind-folded and has lay all the trust on you to walk across. For the love of that person, I would do anything to learn how to be supportive of him/ her. Even when I do not know how to handle the situation, I will seek other support groups to share the learning experience from them. I will respect and not as how and when the incident happened and do what I think I need to do to support a person with HIV. It has to be handed with care, love and sensitivity. I have a gifted fren who died of HIV. Frens and family were embarrassed to know of him. Nobody deserves to be discriminated this way and maybe if we can learn from Greg Louganis and his story.
Ley said: syempre maiiyak ako(honestly) -then there's nothing to be blamed,it already happened.just support them.100%
Snap Said: just be the same person she/he knew from the start, never turn your back at him/her. make here/him feel that she's gonna be alright and you and her/his other friends will always be there for him/her.
Mathelyn said: Firstly, I will pray that God may speak through me. Relying on God's intervention, I will remind him/her of God's promise to never leave him/her nor forsake him/her. Then I will ask the person how he feels and thinks about the whole thing and brainstorm his thoughts with him. I will also ask him/her if he feels guilty of his negligence in taking care of himself/herself or if God warned him/her but she disobeyed, thus this. Then do something positive about that guilt. All said, I will encourage this person to continue his/her journey and live life free from worries and anxieties. Life is to be lived. God is to be loved, worshipped and adored. After the realization of the good and bad of things, we simply must carry on and keep asking for God's grace everyday. Will keep reassuring this person of the many blessings he has and will still have. Will keep him/her in my prayers and ask others to pray for him/her too without mentioning his/her name. As much as I am permitted by God, I will stay with this person and nurture my faith as I do always, in order to be ready to serve him/her when needed.
Ron said: I will be shocked for several minutes, sermon ng konti...di maiiwasan yun. but i will definitely show them that im with him all the way! people diagnosed with this condition definitely need support and understanding. assist him/her to hospital visits and check-ups
Marichu said: I would really feel sad, my heart would break into millions of pieces for that person...but ofcors like what ur friend said, i will give my full support. as long as i can, i will help that person in anyway.
Wonder said: I’d be nonchalant. i don’t know what to do e. then im gonna ask him/her too many questions why/how s/he got it. but nonetheless id give him/her a big hug and a lot of support :)
Wes said: I'd probably be shocked that I still have family members who are having sex or doing needles.. :) Either way, I'd be hurt especially if they're dear friends.. I mean shit, I'd feel the same way when it's someone I barely knew. Getting bad news is something that I should be used to by now but still, it just makes me feel uncomfortable (not around the person) just uncomfortable. Being touchy myself, I'd probably give the person a hug and just... Be there... that's one thing poz people would need I guess, someone to just be there... when no one else would.
Philip said: Surprised... in denial... angry... then i will ask if he/she is sure about the diagnosis, then have him/her re-tested to someone I absolutely trust who is reputed to be very keen in details and very good on this kind of examination... if its really positive... ill always be there for him/her when he/she needs me... i'll give him/her my full support... mostly emotional support since I can't support him/her in financial aspect.
Jon said: Regarding the HIV survey. just like the others i will of course get shocked and listen to whatever he has got to say. Whether be it angst, denial, etc. i'd let him cry on my shoulders and ill hug him tight. let him know im there for him.
Rocker said: I wouldn't ask why did he get it or how. but rather listen and be there for him. shempre i'll cheer him as much as i can. di mababago yung pakikisama ko sa kanya.
Eric said: I wont make him/her feel different. nothing will change. tuloy parin gaya ng dati. pero shempre,mas makikinig nako sa kanya. we need to be educated about the disease. its nothing to be ashamed of i think. education could prevent it.
Jorge said: I would definitely be shocked.Im just a human being.Im not getting any news like that everyday so much so that he/ she is a family or friend.I thought i should front a brave face so as to appease the person. Im not a judging person. How will you react?---calmly, i guess.I've been to situations where composure is a MUST. And this time, best thing for you to do is to react calmly and comfortly. What will you do?"---support the person. after all, he is still a Gift from God. If he's a family, the more that I give my full attention to him.I wont cry over an inevitable circumstance. It had been done, let's move on to provide the person a normal and civil life that he so deserves, and encourage him to fight the storm.
Frederick said: Mixed feelings - shocked yet not surprised, too i've lost friends and co-workers from work because of HIV/AIDS. they may have had choices to use protection (if it was acquired through unprotected sex)but did not. that is their choice. would i treat them differently? should i pity them? would i act differently towards them? should i be cautious when around them? nothing is going to change. living in san francisco all these years has opened my eyes to everything and anything bad and good. having a gay brother around us is the same thing. do i want to know his intimate relationship with his bf? NO but i let him know to use protection. it is natural for homo & hetero-sexuals to be active whether or not your normal or challenge. we've used protection before and after our daughter was born but that was uncomfortable. how i look at right now is, someone or somebody is brave enough to risk him/herself and trying to live his/her life to the fullest.
Karina said: I'll help him/her really. Super maghahanap ako ng tulong for help him/her. I'm at least informed na hindi naman to nakakahawa through any means but body fluid. I'll still treat him/her normal, he/she deserves that.
Thank you so much for answering my survey. This means a lot to the HIV/AIDS community, their family and friends.
Let’s keep the love growing.
NOTE: If you're reading this and figured out who I am, let me come out on my own time. Please don't give out my identity... not just yet.