This weekend we had two requests for emergency aid from the province of Battambang: a 32-year-old gay man who, out of shame, did not dare to take his HIV medication and became ill as a result. And a similar problem for a young gay aged 16 who is brought up by his grandmother.
HIV stigma: embarrassment to take ARV
LC is 32 years old and lives together with a number of friends who are also gay in a house in a village in the province of Battambang. He lives with that group because his parents rejected him because of his sexual orientation.
In the evening he works in a restaurant and every now and then he works as a stand by worker in wedding ceremonies. He lives with HIV, but he is ashamed of it. So much so that he does not always dare to take his HIV inhibitors in the presence of colleagues or friends. The stigma surrounding HIV is also high in Cambodia.
Because he takes his HIV-inhibitors very irregularly, he has become ill. Through the volunteers of our partner organization Bandanh Chaktomok he has sought and found help. Untenu paid for medical and food aid and the rent of his room. This allows him to strengthen.
The 16-year-old SY is the youngest person with HIV we have helped so far. He is not the first gay person who has not been infected with HIV through sexual contact, but through his mother. Both his parents died of the effects of AIDS. SY is raised by his grandmother in a village in Battambang.
Until not so long ago he took his medication regularly. But now that he has reached puberty, he sometimes refuses to take his HIV-inhibitors, especially when his grandmother is out of sight. Shame towards his friends and classmates also plays a role here. This has made him ill and he needs help. Untenu payd the hospital and transportation costs and gave him food support.
In addition, we have called for a good conversation with SY and his grandmother so that the importance of regular intake of HIV inhibitors is made clear.
This can be done by helping us when, for example, we raise money on a gay pride. But it can also be made easier: a donation gives us the means to provide food and medical assistance.
Help throughout Cambodia
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