She is beautiful by any discriminating man’s standard. Her face will easily attract attention and she might as well catch the eye of a talent scout looking for a movie star. But, she is dying of AIDS. She was a victim of gang-rape perpetrated by her ex-boyfriend who was a drug addict.
Rosa Aguirre (not her real name) was applying for a job in a chain department store in Cebu. Prior to acceptance, she was required to present a medical certificate. It was then when she discovered that she had HIV.
She was a cultural dancer who was paid a measly sum of 1,000 pesos (AUD25) for every performance which rarely happened more than twice a month.
At a young age of 18, she became a complete orphan with no siblings or any known relative to look after her. She was only 10 when her mom left for another man. With monthly rental, electricity bills and food, she could hardly make both ends meet. (related story, page 18, Dec. 2018 issue of Philippine Sentinel)
She had her meals in a nearby carinderia who served pagpag but she was shunned when the owner learned that she had HIV.
Rosa considers herself fortunate to have been admitted free in a public hospital in Mandaue City, Cebu. The hospital gave her daily injections and generic medicines that were not as effective as the expensive brands. She believed that medications provided to her were fake. (ibid)
The public hospital in Mandaue City had her transferred to another hospital in Tagbilaran, in the nearby island of Bohol. Her condition worsened and eventually progressed into AIDS. The virus affected her lungs, kidneys, brain and all other vital organs. The doctor bore a hole on her throat to extract phlegm from her lungs. She had painful sores in her mouth and rashes all over her body.
A recent diagnosis determined that her case was hopeless and she was sent back to Cebu where she knew she would die.
Her dying statement
“Wala na daw pag asa na gumaling ako kasi masyado ng apektado halos lahat ng organs ko. Malapit na rin bumigay ang kidney ko at nasa utak ko na rin ang virus. Sabi ng doctor yung gamot na iniinom ko wala na rin effect masyado. Panandalian lang pinapawi ang pakiramdam ko. Kaya kung minsan okay ang pakiramdam ko, kung minsan sobrang sama. Namamalimos na ako para may makain.”
(They said there is no hope for me to recover because all my vital organs have been affected by the AIDS virus. My kidneys would soon malfunction and the virus has reached my brain. The doctor said that the medicines being given to me provide only temporary relief. I now beg for alms so I can eat.)
“Buto’t balat na lang ako at sobrang payat. Wala na daw silang magagawa. Kulang ang supply nila at ang provincial medical center na gaya nila ay hindi kayang gamutin ang malalang sakit na dumapo sa akin. Kung puwede lang daw dalhin ako sa ibang bansa na mataas ang medical performance. Dito raw sa Pilipinas, only few people lang ang nagagamot at nakaka survive.”
(I am down to skin and bones. They cannot do anything more for me. They lack supplies because provincial medical centres such as theirs do not have the capability to provide medication for this serious kind of ailment that afflicts me. If only I could be taken overseas where better medical treatment is available. Here in the Philippines, very few people survive,” Rosa Aguirre added.) © 2018. All rights reserved.