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19th February 2005 

One more Cocktail for Oon. 

No I donít mean a Harvey Warbanger, although I am rather partial to those. Here I am talking about a cocktail of anti-viral drugs. Thankfully there is now one more because itís not long ago that she was on the last one. Thankfully with the progress in this field she now has yet a further one to go. 

Oon is 18 years old on 15th June 2005 and I am told that she is the longest living HIV sufferer in Asia having had the misfortune of being been born with HIV. When changing from her previous medication the last time to the present one she suffered terrible side effects for the first few weeks but as you can see from the photo, she is now doing well. It is considered that you have a few years with each cocktail before HIV overcomes the beneficial effects of the drugs. Naturally this will vary with each person involved. 

This is Oon today.

Left to right Fr, Nidini, Oo and Oon.

Fr, Nidini has now returned to Italy

Update July 2010 Oon is now 23 years old and has finished her studies. She is now working as a teacher for the younger children at the center.

Georgina wrote this about Oonís birthday last year. 

A Birthday to Celebrate: 

Every year we all have the chance to celebrate our birthday. Some birthdays we look forward to with great anticipation and others we wish would pass quietly.

Today we celebrated with great joy the 17th birthday of one of our children.

Oon was born HIV positive on June 15th, 1987. She came to the Camillian Social Center in November 1997 as a thin, sick little girl. She was the first child at the Center to receive anti-retroviral medicine. Now she is attending a local Secondary school in the community and is a healthy, active teenager.

We are pleased to say that Oon is the oldest living teenager, born HIV positive, living in Asia.

Her smile today was a light for everyone at the Center. We could feel her great joy and it was a pleasure to celebrate her birthday with her. 

Last Tuesday, 15th February 2005, it was the 14th birthday of Ou. This was celebrated with great joy as these children just donít know how many they have left. OK that could be said of us all but as is the case these children they know their days are numbered.  

Two of her three pills cocktail are provided by the Thai authorities under the new 30Baht (about $0.73 cents) scheme but the third one which is $250.00 a month has to be provided by the centre. This is what our contributions are all about.  

The last child to die from HIV/AIDS at the centre, at the end of October 2002, was approximately four years old. Her name was Sonya and her age is only approximate because no one knows how old she really was. Sonya was referred to the centre after she had been taken to Chonburi Hospital following an accident and was found to be suffering with HIV/AIDS. She had been fed, one imagines like you would feed a stray dog, by the market vendors up until that time. She slept under the empty market stalls after the market closed. I am sorry, I have been around a bit, but I just canít imagine that. She had no name and was only given the name Sonya when she arrived at the centre. No one knows how she came to the market or where she came from. This sounds like a story from Rudyard Kipling in the early 1800ís, not one in the 21st century and from a modern city like Chonburi. I am sitting here in total disbelief and if these facts hadnít come from my most reliable source, I, for sure, would not have believed it. While at the centre Sonya was loved by all children and staff alike and her untimely death was very sadly mourned.  

Georgina is at this time writing the biographies of all the children at the centre and I hope she will allow me to publish them on my site when the job is complete.  

There is a new scheme being devised by the centre, well, on the drawing board anyway. This is for a new teenage community of 24 young people. As yet it is only in the planning stage because the target monetary requirement is Baht 9,000,000 (about $237,000.00USD) and as yet there is only 3,000.000. Baht in the kitty. This would free up at least 14 places in the orphanage immediately. The funds for the children seem to remain constant at a three month level. That is to say that if no cash comes in the centre has a breathing space of just three months. Fr, G is always saying God will provide and that just may be the case in the form of you, me and many other good people out there.

Up Date February 2009

In the summer of 2008 Oon celebrated he 21st Birthday, she is still at collage learning business studies. She is now considered the oldest living person to have had HIV since birth in Asia. She will finish her studies in the spring of 2010 and that summer she will go for a stay in London England courtesy of the Thai Children's Trust (formally the Pattaya Orphanage Trust), this is to further her studies of the English Language.

All this was  0nly made possible because of the monumental efforts of Father Giovanni who became an Italian Knight in the summer of 2008 for his work helping the poor and sick people of Thailand.

   

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