AN elderly couple was recently found to have quarantined their HIV-positive son from the rest of the family by confining him in a chicken coop behind their house at Kempas Baru, Johor Baru, for two years. The couple was humiliated by neighbors’ gossip about their son and they were also determined to safeguard other family members. They went to the point of shutting themselves in their house without proper ventilation by closing all the doors and windows while they slept.

The couple believed that they could be infected by HIV/AIDS if bitten by mosquitoes that had come into contact with their son. Johor AIDS Action and Research Society president Low Heck Heng said this was an extreme example of how HIV/AIDS sufferers were treated due to their family’s mistaken notions. The sufferers were sidelined and received no moral or emotional support from their families. He said the HIV-positive man, who was in his 30s, was the couple’s only son out of five children. He is believed to have contracted the disease from a prostitute.

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The man became disabled due to the illness and he was forced to comply with the family’s decision to keep him outside the house. In fact, when providing him meals, his family would throw his food onto a plate as if they were feeding dogs or cats,” said Low.

When our volunteers first met him, he had been suffering like that for a year. He had been taking medication and underwent treatment at a government hospital. But, unfortunately, he never received moral and emotional support from his family. As a result, he felt hopeless with no desire to continue living.

Source – Johor Buzz

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