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OT...AIDS and Negril, Jamaica

Posted by Sista Irie 
OT...AIDS and Negril, Jamaica
May 12, 2006 12:39PM
On this past trip to Jamaica, I was very saddened to learn that a very close friend of mine was diagnosed with AIDS. He is heterosexual and has also been involved at times with tourist women. He recently had two other friends die of AIDS. The situation is growing worse in Jamaica all the time. Half of those diagnosed in Jamaica are woman and a growing number of children are being orphaned due to losing their parent(s). The sad thing, according to the UN, is the rate is probably much higher but not reported. My friend's blood test had come back negative for AIDS in January when he first started showing sickness. His second test from a better doctor came back positive a month later. So, even the testing is not always very good.

As we all know, there is a fair amount of sexual contact between men and women in Jamaica and specifically in Negril. I thought it would be prudent to remind men and women alike that AIDS is alive in Jamaica. Those who are being diagnosed with AIDS were not necessarily prostitutes or having sex with sexually promiscuous people.

Sadly, it is a dangerous world we live in. My heart is breaking for my friend. I have known him a very long time. Negril resident. His life has been tough. They have some medicine for him but it is $5000 Jamaican a month. I am gathering some of his friends together to see if we can help him get the medicine as he definitely cannot afford it. The real lesson is not to let the magic and romance of Jamaica prevent you from protecting your life.



"love shines brighter than the morning sun"
Re: OT...AIDS and Negril, Jamaica
May 12, 2006 03:32PM
Thank you for sharing Sista Irie. I am sorry to hear about your friend. May it serve as a reminder to us all. If you set up a monthy contribution list please let me know. Collectively maybe we all could help him live longer with the disease as those more fortunate have been able to do.
Re: OT...AIDS and Negril, Jamaica
May 12, 2006 04:28PM
Give thanks, Andee. Iam checking with his family to see what they are doing to help. I am also trying to find out exactly what the prescription they have given him to see if I can get a donation from a pharmaceutical company. In the meantime, some friends gave money for the next two months. If we need to continue to provide financial assistance, I may just let folks know who are interested in helping at that time. Give thanks for your kindness. He is still a young man with what should have been plenty of years left.

I just hope the romantic vibes of Jamaica do not lead people to believe that unprotected sex will be ok. Many Jamaican men do not believe in using protection and can be very alluring. Of course, according to my husband's nephew who runs a small grocery, there are selling more and more condoms than ever before. That is a good sign.



"love shines brighter than the morning sun"
Re: OT...AIDS and Negril, Jamaica
May 12, 2006 05:00PM
Seems it is very much about education everywhere around the world but especially the islands. I lived for a time in HI and realized STD rates in general were higher for what I believe to be some of the reasons you already mentioned about tourism, culture and what can be the romantic vibe of island life. But there go I for the grace of Jah is how I see it. So, please ask if help is needed. Interesting that no one else seems to have taken up the thread....perhaps a sign that this is still such a sensitive and uncomfortable issue. Give thanks Sista Irie, sounds to me like your friend is blessed to have yourself and so many others that care about him.
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