So yes, we joined them for the exhibition today at Kinta City. I volunteered to man (or should that be woman?) our booth during the first shift, so had to drop by our centre first to get our brochures and buntings. When I got to Kinta City, the CASP people were already there.
I’ve given talks at schools before, and I’ve also manned the HIV/AIDS booth at a university before. Students show a different kind of response to the kind of information we disseminate to them. It’s either they stop by to ask questions or they just walk by without showing any interest.
Today, we did our exhibition at a shopping complex, dealing with people from all walks of life. As our exhibition was at the entrance to the supermarket there, people who wanted to go to the supermarket would have to pass by our volunteers. And today, I saw all sorts of responses from the public to the kind of information we try to disseminate to them.
There were some, who’d politely take the brochures that we hand out to them, and then they just move on.
There were some, who showed more interest and asked us questions before they moved on. Some were kind enough to put some money into the donation box.
There was one guy, who never knew that a support group such as ours existed in Ipoh. He has some HIV+ friends who felt isolated and he himself admitted he never knew how to react whenever he met them. After our explanation, he felt much better and promised to get his HIV+ friends to contact us.
There was one boy, just about 7 or 8 years old, who proudly wore the red ribbon we handed out, and insisted he wanted our brochure so he could read it.
There was one young lady, who suddenly just stood there in front of me, whose face looked rather familiar. Aiyo… Daphne Ling leh… no wonder lah look familiar… ;)
On the contrary…
There was one guy, who was watching the powerpoint presentation prepared by CASP, when approached by a volunteer to be given a brochure, quickly said, “No! No! No!” and then he quickly walked off. He was probably afraid people may think he has HIV if he took any of the brochures or if he talked to any of us.
And then there were some, who didn’t dare come near when they saw the word HIV/AIDS. And particularly more, when the CASP volunteers wore posters which said, “I have HIV/AIDS. Will you hug me?”
Sorry, pics not clear. Taken using my handphone camera.
Actually the volunteers donning the above posters DON’T have HIV. They just wanted to show the public that there’s no harm coming near an HIV infected person.
There was one family, when approached by the volunteers, frantically said, “Jangan ganggu kami, jangan ganggu kami. Kami tak mau!”
One of the volunteers from Penang told us how during one exhibition elsewhere, one lady who had just finished shopping; was pushing a trolley full of goods. As she was leaving, she was approached by a volunteer carrying the HIV/AIDS poster. The moment she saw the volunteer, she actually RAN! And because she ran, she lost control of her trolley and everything just fell on the floor!
Just shows that many people are still THAT scared of HIV/AIDS.
And oh, I forgot… there was also one young guy, who came over to me, and asked, “Sini boleh bayar saman ka?”
Aiseh… TARA BACA KA?!