Halfway through Rotterdam Pride we got a request to help K.C.: he was admitted with stomach problems. Besides HIV, he was also infected with tuberculosis (TB). A week later he died. Our help was of no avail.
The HIV virus is one of the causes of the global tuberculosis epidemic. According to the World Health Organisation, by 2015 there were 1.2 million HIV-infected people worldwide who received TB (source: KNCV Tuberculose Fonds). Today, we provided money for a 33-year-old gay man who, in addition to HIV, also contracted tuberculosis.
Yesterday Untenu made money available to help the mother of a young gay man. Both mother and son are HIV positive, mother became ill and can no longer work. Four members of the family are now dependent on one minimum income.
Some people are not good informed about the way to use ARV. Once they feel better, some people stop using their HIV-medication. And then they’ll get sick again. Yesterday Untenu and Bandanh Chaktomok gave food and medical aid to a 30 years young gay man because he got seriously ill when he stopped taking his ARV.
One day before Rotterdam Pride, Untenu received two help requests from Kampong Chhnang. There was found a single gay man who could not take care for his foster daughter because he was too weak. The second emergency request that we received last Friday concerned a 47 year old gay man in Kampong Chhnang. We have not supported someone in this province before.
Due to a better spread of volunteers in Cambodia, emergency aid costs to poor LGBTIs with HIV are rising. First, there are more requests. In addition, the spread over the regions is better and more people are reached in remote areas. Corruption also plays a part.
Since Untenu Foundation signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Bandanh Chaktomok (BC, National MSMS & TG Network Cambodia), BC has been giving emergency aid to two members of the LGBTI community. The first request came from a HIV positive transgender woman living in the rural area of Kampong Thum. The second request was done for a gay man living with HIV in Battambang.