A Friend Died Of AIDS
By A Friend
He was a good-looking 32 year old guy. He liked the girls and they liked him. On any given night he would start his evening at the Beer Garden on Soi 7 and then head to Nana Plaza or Soi Cowboy, but nearly always end up at Thermae. Each night he went out, he inevitably took a girl home with him.
He won't be making his rounds anymore. He died this past Monday from AIDS related cancer.
When I met him, he had been living in Thailand for 4 years already and showed me the ropes. In fact, we often made these rounds together. I know that he didn't get HIV using intravenous drugs, nor was he bisexual. He got HIV from the prostitutes in the bars, because he never used a condom. If a bar girl insisted that he use a condom, he would insist that they return to the bar. He figured that the odds of his contracting HIV were so minute, that it was worth the risk.
An even greater tragedy is that he passed the virus to his unsuspecting girlfriend before he was ever tested. Her quality of life is still pretty good, but it is waning and she expects the worse, since she does not have money for treatment.
Contrary to what one popular Bangkok Post columnist insists, HIV/AIDS is not a myth. It is egregiously irresponsible for this columnist to insinuate (or flat out state) otherwise. How do I know this? My friend died last Monday from AIDS.
While AIDS may afflict some demographics to a greater extent, no one is immune to this killer. We've all gotten drunk and taken chances from time to time, and that may be part of life, but it is really not worth the risk. I'm not suggesting that we all don robes and become priests and monks – quite the opposite, in fact I'm simply suggesting that you understand the risks before you make a foolish decision.
In the years before my friend died, while he was taking various drug cocktails, he never failed to express his deepest regret for not using protection and how easy it would have been to simply slip on a condom.
AIDS is not a myth. AIDS is a killer. Ask my friend's mother. She buried her son last Monday.
The problem is that some people will never listen… In some cases, as horrible as it sounds, it really is a case of SOM NUM NA – you deserve it. I hate to think how many people out there are HIV+. If they locked the doors at the Thermae every night and forced everyone to have blood test before they left, I bet there would be some ugly figures…