To donate blood or to not...

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September 3rd 2008
Published: September 3rd 2008
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The western side of me is sometimes thrown off guard with certain things & underlying judgements that manifest from my day-to-day life in Taiwan. For example, today....Yours truly was in Jung Hu (pronounced Yung Huh) today, wondering around the beautiful park & library (I applied for my 1st taiwanese library card - yay!), when I saw a blood mobile. So I said why the heck not? I haven't given any blood in Taiwan...(I gave blood bi-annually in the states).

I manage to complete the chinese form all by myself (OK...almost all by myself). The nurse, named Amber, then proceeds to ask me more personal questions about my sex, drugs & rock & roll lifestyle...because according to the taiwanese medical system, no matter how many tests & checks one may have, one's blood can never be safe enough (aka hidden & undetectable viruses) for recipients. I answer honestly, as I have nothing to hide.

"Have you had more than 1 partner in 6 months?"
"Umm..yes, 2."
"How much time has passed after the 1st?"
"6 months."
"Umm...I'm sorry. You can't can wait 6 more months before you can donate."

Yes folks (hey you, out in the west)...If you have had more than one partner in a year, you're liable to be carrying hidden & hi-risk undetectable viruses that may contaminate the recipient. (For your information, I've had 2 partners since last september 2007.) WOW huh?

But how does the West manage? Because we all know if they had such a policy, there would be dust & cobwebs layering every mobile in every country, city & town. My opinion is that Taiwan is a country whose people has not caught up to their technological development & status - in the most social aspect. I had the privilege of meeting with Nicole, who started the Harmony House, a half-way house for HIV/AIDS orphans and mothers. For the past 20 years, she's been providing care out of her own pocket & with time outside of work. Only for the past 8 years has there been sponsorship and fundraising efforts coming into support her cause. But in 2005, the house, all the babies (who are OH SO CUTE) & mothers were being harassed by neighbors and threatened to be evicted. Luckily, Nicole fought in court and won! She has centers all over china & taiwan for the cause of providing care & educating the patients to take care of themselves.

The point being...the ignorance in these people that shows itself through fear and being uneducated. To not know that the chance for a new baby to be born w/HIV is 5% after the mother takes cocktails & the baby itself. And if the mother didn't take cocktails, the newborn can take cocktails for 6 weeks...chance of having HIV is 10%. I mean jeeeeeeeeze...who knew? More info yo!

My dad & I are going by there weekly to play w/the babies. So pics to come....much love.

Oh yeah, I might be tutoring Amber english soon! HA


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