Has yet another "blood brother" met his Creator?
We were having our usual family dinner awhile ago when my brother called my attention.
bro: Nabalitaan mo na ba yung classmate ko nung high school na namatay?
me: Oo nga eh. Pneumonia daw?
Upon hearing the news earlier on when my mom told me about it, not knowing who he/she was, I have already entertained the idea that it must not have been a simple pneumonia. Who would have died of a simple pneumonia? Not unless he/she is immunocompromised.
bro: Kilala mo si JVP?
Confirmed! It wasn't a case of a simple pneumonia.
me: Oo, kilala ko. Nursing ang course niya nung college di ba?
bro: Oo. Ano iisipin mo dun?
I kept my mouth shut. I pretended to be busy pouring water on my glass.
mom: Bakit? Ano iniisip ninyo dun?
mom: Bakit? Ano ba siya? Bakla?
bro: Hindi umaamin pero lahat naman kaming kaibigan niya alam na.
I felt more awkward.
bro: Nagpagamot din daw siya dati for anogenital warts.
dad: Posible nga. Hindi ka naman mamamatay dahil sa simpleng pneumonia lang kung malakas naman immune system mo. Bagsak na kasi immune system ng mga may HIV kaya prone sila sa mga ganyang infection. Pati yang warts, kalimitan pa kasi sa kanila hindi safe ang sexual practice, yung anal sex.
me: Mukhang HIV nga.
I was left speechless. I could not defend my blood brothers from the words of my family.
Yes, there is a big possibility that JVP had HIV which may have caused his demise. But whether he knew his status or not, that I am not certain.
In the advent of right and left awareness campaigns and the availability of free health services and medication, I really feel sad whenever I hear news regarding the loss of our blood brother just because they do not know their status.
If he had just known earlier.
This bad news just made me feel sad.
And if there's one more thing this conversation had just made me feel more sad, it's the fact that I think my family is not yet ready for my disclosure. Not now. Not yet in the near future.