THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Sigh... another innocent child!

When Fuzi first found out she had HIV, she was confident she got infected because she was raped. The double trouble news was devastating. First, knowing the fact that she got pregnant as a result of being raped (her husband had died more than a year before she was raped), and second, that she was infected with the much dreaded HIV. Living in a shame-driven community, she had to endure double the shame – carrying HIV and carrying an illegitimate child.

Anyway, immediately after knowing she was HIV positive, she immediately brought her 4 children for tests. The first 3 children were confirmed negative, while the result for her 4th child, Ijam, was not conclusive. Fuzi was told by the doctor to bring Ijam for another test. Fuzi got worried, because she was still breastfeeding Ijam before she found out about her HIV and 5th pregnancy.

But bringing Ijam to the hospital was not an easy task. The boy was afraid of hospitals… and worse still, of those scary looking needles. Every time Fuzi planned to bring him along to Ipoh for her own appointments, Ijam would make a disappearing act. This went on for a few months until finally the doctor reminded Fuzi to bring Ijam for tests.

So finally, after much coaxing, AND bribery (“if-you-come-with-me-I-buy-you-toy” kind of bribery), Fuzi managed to bring Ijam for another blood test about a month ago. And yesterday the results came. Ijam was confirmed… HIV POSITIVE.

Aaaaargh!!! I can imagine how Fuzi feels right now. She called me this morning to convey the sad news to me.

It is possible that the boy was infected when Fuzi breastfed him. But the chances of infection from mother to child are greater during delivery, and Fuzi did deliver Ijam through normal delivery. The doctor was quite confident that Fuzi was unknowingly infected much earlier, by her late husband. Although the blood tests done during her pregnancy with Ijam showed negative results for HIV, chances were that the tests were done during the window period whereby the virus could not be detected although already there.

After thinking it over, Fuzi remembered that her late husband used to go to Southern Thailand quite frequently after his first wife died, before he married Fuzi. The rapist may not be the HIV culprit after all!

Now Fuzi even has more worries in her mind. The youngest boy, Iwan, has been confirmed negative (all necessary precautions were taken before Iwan was delivered to minimize the chances of infection), but will have to live with a birth certificate which says “Maklumat bapa: Tidak diketahui.” And while Ijam doesn’t have such problem in his birth certificate, he will now have to live with HIV all his life. The news was so devastating I forgot to ask Fuzi if her children’s citizenship problem has been settled.

I’m organizing a Deepa-Raya do for the female PLWHAs and their children this Saturday, and I promised Fuzi she could talk to me then. I know she needs to talk to someone right now.

Oh, poor Ijam!

22 comments:

Zawi said...

Pi,
Too sad to comment. Tell me which bank account that I can make my small monthly contribution to your good cause. A Maybak account would be nice. Thats all I can do for now.

PrincessJournals said...

Pi, why do they have to put maklumat bapa as tidak diketahui rather than Abdullah? i know of someone who adopted a baby whose father was not known and the bc says abdullah?

© Oshun/EM Muhammad/Nadia Emarele Muhammad said...

Salam Puan Pi...
Salam perkenalan dan selamat hari raya aidilfitri. MZB. Saya rasa hendak marah dan menangis at the same time. Feel pity for those innocent children who now have to suffer for someone else's mistakes.
I don't know what else to say. Sad... very sad.

Pi Bani said...

Zawi:
Frustrating isn't it? Anyway, will email you direct.

Princessjournals:
I don't know, maybe for adoption cases it's different? A more recent case I know of pun macam Fuzi's case juga - maklumat bapa written as tidak diketahui.

Pi Bani said...

Oshun:
Welcome to my blog. Went to see your profile.... so you're a writer? And you write novels? Wow!

Anyway, yes, sedih kisah budak-budak ni. I memang lemah sikit whenever kids become the victims. Looking at their innocent faces, aduuuh... sebak rasanya.

J.T. said...

Such a sad predicament. I feel so bad for Fuzi.

You wrote:"Although the blood tests done during her pregnancy with Ijam showed negative results for HIV, chances were that the tests were done during the window period whereby the virus could not be detected although already there."
May I ask what is the duration of that window? Does it vary, in general?

Pi Bani said...

JT:
To answer your question, I'm borrowing the answer from the expert in www.thebody.com
----------------------------
The "window period" is the time it takes for a person who has been infected with HIV to seroconvert (test positive) for HIV antibodies.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says about the window period:

"Antibodies generally appear within three months after infection with HIV, but may take up to six months in some persons."

This CDC definition of a three to six month window period has been commonly used for a number of years and is most often used.

You may have heard other time periods. Remember, despite intensive research on HIV, it is a relatively "new" disease, so published information may vary. A training guide used by the California Office of AIDS, published in 1998, says about the window period:

"When a person is infected with a virus, statistics show that 96% (perhaps higher) of all infected individuals develop antibodies within 2 to 12 weeks. In some cases, it may take up to six months."

AIDS Health Project counselors tell their HIV test clients that "seroconversion is detectable in 90% of people within three months of exposure; the average time is 25 days."

AIDS Update 98, a textbook for HIV practitioners, says, "Most often, HIV antibody is detectable within six to eight weeks."

----------------------------------

So yeah JT, it does vary.

IBU said...

Salam Kak Pi,

Pity the innocent children who have to suffer from the promiscuous activities of adults....

I linked up your blog to my latest entry. Hope you don't mind.

Raden Galoh said...

Kak...Alahai, sedihnya mengenangkan nasib Fuzi dan anak-anak.

Rasanya tak patut JPN stated maklumat bapa as tidak diketahui sebab ianya menimbulkan banyak masalah bila anka itu dewasa. Lagipun salah anak itukah yang dia terpaksa memikul akibat perbuatan bapanya?

Pi Bani said...

Ibu:
Thanks for the link. The purpose of this blog is to get as many people to read about the trials and tribulations of the HIV infected/affected, particularly the women and children. I'm hoping to open people's eyes to their sufferings instead of looking down on them.

Raden Galoh:
Memang selama ni I pun ingat dia buat macam yang Farina cakap tu, tulis bin/binti Abdullah. But dah dua kes dah I jumpa tulis maklumat bapa "tidak diketahui". Budak tu lah kesian... especially time gi sekolah nanti.

NaNa said...

Kak Pi,

It's so sad ... at the end, the kids are the ones who suffer. They are innocent and yet they become the victims because of what the adults did...*sigh*...

Akmal said...

Puan Pi,
Pity the family. They need help...especially the childrens, suffer from other's mistake....

ros said...

Sedih saya baca kisah ini..kerana..teringatkan kisah sya sendiri yang prnah kenal dgn orang2 yg ada HIV..

Pi Bani said...

Nana:
Children always become victims of the mistakes made by adults. If only the adults would THINK before they do anything.

Akmal:
In terms of help, it is easier to get financial help for them. But moral help is what they need most.

Ros:
Pernah kenal dengan orang2 yang ada HIV? Boleh share cerita? Tak payahlah sebut nama...

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

Pi, akka...

such devastating news for ijam, especially at his very young age.

here's one question as always. do you think the rapist gets infected for having sexual intercourse with puzi? if he did, forgive me for saying this but dont you think he didnt get away for the sin he committed afterall?

Pi Bani said...

Kerpie,
Ijam still doesn't understand what's going on.

Anyway, yes, the rapist could have been infected (but not necessarily so) when he raped Fuzi. If he did get infected then, well, maybe you can say he didn't get away with the sin he committed.

BUT... what we have to think about is... he may do the same thing to other innocent women and end up spreading the virus to them...

We don't want that, do we?

Farahz said...

shoot.. they are just kids after all.

winniethepooh said...

fuzi must be at a lost now, with all these news...hope that she will stay strong for the children. what has happened cant be changed, just hv to keep moving forward.

thank God for people like u Pi bani who take the time and effort to help those in need, those who need a listening ear and a helping hand has someone to turn to.

u take good care too ok Pi bani and hv a good weekend

Pi Bani said...

Farahz:
Yeah, they're just kids... and right now both Ijam and Iwan are still unaware of the kind of future that awaits them. Poor souls!

Winnie:
The way I see it (just met her just now), Fuzi is still going on strong. For the sake of her kids, she has to. Thanks Winnie - you have a good weekend too.

© Oshun/EM Muhammad/Nadia Emarele Muhammad said...

Salam Puan Pi...
Thank you for such a warm welcome. Can't call myself a writer yet. Cakar-cakar ayam saja.
Saya orang Perak juga. Di Langkap (dekat dengan Teluk Intan). Hopefully, bila balik nanti, I will go to that house untuk orang tua-tua tu (mentioned in Angelwithin's blog). My dad actually looked after rumah orang tua-tua di Langkap since I can remember, until two years back, I believe. Sekarang, dia dah tak larat dah, so they hire another person. He still goes there once in a while. Old habit dies hard, ek. We went there on 2006 eid. Sedih, tempat tu tak berjaga seperti dulu. Kesian Pak Cik Bidin...

Hope to meet you when I go back next year, Puan Pi. Sajalah, feel honoured to meet such a great person with a heart made of gold @>->>--

Pi Bani said...

Oshun:
Ohh... oghang Peghak ghopenye...

Anyway, I'd be glad to meet up with blogger friends. Tapi jangan le tinggi bebenor pujinye... teman ni tak selese kene puji lebih-lebih yong...

No need to call me Puan Pi... Pi or Kak Pi will do.

© Oshun/EM Muhammad/Nadia Emarele Muhammad said...

Salam Kak Pi...
Kalo gitu, berani ler teman nak manggey Kak Pi. Takut ler pulak, memandei aje teman panggei orang kakak... ngeh. Mana ada teman puji tinggi. Rata je kat blog nih. Ngeh. Kak Pi panggey teman OD (Opah De as in Opah Muda since I have 3 grandchildren - not from my children as I don't have any... ngeh. They are my cousin's children's children... fuh! Penat!)
InsyaALLAH, Kak Pi, bila teman balik ke Mesia, teman cari Kak Pi.