Tuesday, November 18, 2008

HIV+ Chinese man on this weeks program (19th Nov. 2008)

Regular listeners to Orange Ribbon will know that I have just spent another month in Hong Kong, having just returned to Melbourne early last week. In fact over the past 21 months I seem to have spent a LOT of time up there (upwards of 6 months spread over about 8-9 visits...), because I love the place, and I also have many wonderful friends who live there, both ex-pats as well as local Chinese.

One of my very good Chinese friends in Hong Kong is Marc. I have been speaking with him for almost a year now (over several of my recent visits...) with a view to having him as a guest on Orange Ribbon. For reasons that will shortly become obvious, I was keen to interview Marc, but I was obviously well aware of the sensitivity of a subject that I wished to discuss with him in any interview I might conduct with him.

After careful consideration over many months, Marc finally sat down with me in Hong Kong last Sunday week to record the interview that I will present on Orange Ribbon this week. I sincerely thank Marc for having the gumption and openness to be interviewed, because he has a story that will provide hope for many others in the same position as himself, and particularly for other Asians who might be in the same position.

Marc is a Hong Kong-born Chinese, from a somewhat unusual family structure, his mother having been married and then divorced in China. She then made the decision to start a new life for herself, so moved south to Hong Kong, re-married, then had Marc and four more siblings, in addition to five half-siblings that had earlier been born in mainland China.

However... at the tender age of 18 years Marc discovered that he was HIV Positive. That was in 1987... which means that he has been living with the virus 21 years now. He openly discusses how this affected his younger adult years, and how his attitude to life changed as time progressed and he realised that perhaps he did not have a "death sentence" after all.

So please join me this coming Wednesday evening (19th November), at 7pm, for this weeks edition of Orange Ribbon. I also hope to include a few music tracks of some recent albums that I picked up in Hong Kong while I was there on this most recent visit.

Allan Smales

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