Serendipitous meeting

by S.I.

There was one 7-year-old girl in a small town. Her name was Ally and she was from Paris, France. She was very popular with many people because she was cheerful and lively, and she was always surrounded by many people. But actually, she was a pet daughter and she knew nothing about the world because her parents were overprotective. But she was a filly, so she had many wounds, also cuts and grazes on her hands and legs. When she went out, her servant was always with her, so she always thought that she wanted to go out by herself.

One day in the afternoon in 1980, she went out without telling anyone. When she walked on the roadside, she saw a middle-aged woman falling down. She seemed to have stumbled on a stone and blood was dripping down from her knee. Ally was very surprised and confused because she didn't know what to do. Anyway, she tried to help the middle-aged woman.

"Are you OK? You're bleeding, so you have to stop the blood!"

She took out some pieces of tissue and tried to stop bleeding. But the woman noticed something and said strongly, "You have a wound on your hand! So don't touch my wound and blood! It's dangerous! If you touch them, you may die!"

Ally was surprised by her tone of voice and what she said, but she asked calmly,

"Why is it dangerous? Only I want to stop your blood..."

She looked sad a little. The middle-aged woman kept quiet for a minute,

"Please give me few pieces of tissue. I'll clean my blood myself."

After cleaning her blood, she opened her heavy lips.

"First of all, thank you for helping me and I'm sorry to shout suddenly. To tell the truth...I'm an AIDS patient. I saw you have a wound on your hand. So, if you touch my blood, you may be infected with the virus and die someday."

Ally didn't understand what she meant. She didn't understand why she would die if she touched the middle-aged woman's blood. "I don't know why I will die if I touch your blood. Please explain that. And... what is AIDS?"

The middle-aged woman was surprised about that!

"Doesn't she know about AIDS? That's rare these days! It is said many things all over the world now...", the woman thought to herself.

To tell her about AIDS, she started to talk in sequence.

"AIDS is a disease concerning a virus. AIDS patients have a virus, HIV, and if you touch AIDS patients' blood with your hand and it gets into an open wound that you have, you might be infected with HIV from the AIDS patients' blood. Once you're infected with HIV, you will suffer until you die. And there are other routes of infection...Anyway you have to know more about AIDS for the future!"

Ally was really moved by middle-aged woman's words. After meeting her, Ally thought she wanted to know more about AIDS and she tried to be careful not to become infected with HIV. She wanted to know anything except for AIDS.

Home | Teachers | Students | JNNewsletter | AIDS News | Testing | Japanese