Living With Aids – Creative Writing Essay

Living With Aids – Creative Writing Essay
“Mom couldn’t stand to see me looking so sick and pathetic. She started to cry again, and hurried out of my room. She’d vowed she was never going to cry in front of me, because she figured if I knew how scared she was, I might give up.” (White, 48) Aids is a serious disease; it inevitably leads to death for the patient and to the

most difficult struggle for the patient’s loved ones. There are many false ideas about aids which often makes life difficult for loved ones caring for an aids patient. In the early eighties when aids first became apparent aids was thought as a contagious “gay disease”. It took time and understanding for people to realize that it was not a “gay disease” and that innocent children and women were being infected as well. There is often a huge blanket of prejudice hanging above an aids patient which leads to making life even more unbearable for someone infected with aids. In Ryan White’s case he had to fight in court to be allowed back into school, only to be met with hate crimes when he was able to return. (White)


Many people still do not have accurate information about the aids virus, but during the eighties ignorance was at its height. AIDS patients often found it difficult to continue with their everyday activities because of the prejudice and misconception about the virus. When Ryan White was allowed to return to his public school he was forced to compromise with the school board to use disposable silverware and use separate bathrooms. (White) Bullets were shot at White’s windows, he was forced to resign from his paper route, and he was never free from insistent teasing from both peers and adults. (White) Everything that he touched was considered contaminated.

The AIDS Virus

“AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, is caused by a virus-the kind of bug that gives you the flu- which gets into your blood. Once it’s been there long enough, it knocks out your immune system, which is made up of particular types of cells in your blood that usually help you fight off illnesses and keep you well. Right now there is no vaccine or any other kind of medicine that rids your body of the AIDS virus and repairs your immune system. So once you have AIDS, you start coming down with all kinds of other diseases, and eventually you die from them. They knew you could get the virus from having sex with someone who had it, or by using a hypodermic needle that was contaminated with the virus. During sex your body absorbs your partner’s semen or vaginal discharge, which could carry the virus. A needle with contaminated blood on it is like a four-lane highway to AIDS, because you could inject the virus right into your own blood stream. A third way the virus can get into your blood is from a transfusion of blood or blood products like Factor VIII that happened to come from someone with AIDS.” (White, 40)

Some groups of people are more susceptible to being infected with the AIDS virus because of things that they do. The first group is gay men, who pass the virus along through sex. (White) Drug addicts who share needles can pass AIDS on as well. The third most common group is hemophiliacs and other people who need blood transfusions and injections of blood products. (White40-45) It is impossible to spread the AIDS virus to someone through casual contact. (White, 47)

Living with Someone Infected With the AIDS Virus

“If anything happens to Ryan,” she said, “I don’t want to go on without him. You and I should go out to the garage, close the doors, sit in the car, and let the motor run.” (White, 53) The combination of harassment from discriminating people, and knowing that someone you love will soon die, often leaves people caring for someone with the AIDS virus with the severe physiological trauma from dealing with it all at once. Medical expenses add up quickly for an AIDS patient’s family. The costly trips to and from the emergency room don’t come cheap, sometimes leaving families bankrupt. The time off from work that families must take doesn’t help with the financial situation. Siblings sometimes have to give up activities or stay with relatives for short periods of time off and on while parents take care of their sick AIDS child. A misconception about AIDS is that family members will also catch the virus, however that has never happened. “But you don’t have to worry,” Dr. Kleiman said. Nobody who lives with an AIDS patient has ever gotten the virus. You can’t catch it from casual contact with Ryan.”