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HIV victim regains hope on eve of World AIDS Day

Fri Dec 2, 2016

Monday of this week is the World AIDS Day, and a day of special significance for young Mr Chen, an AIDS patient who has regained hope of life with the help of doctors.

The young man had been living in nightmares after falling victim to the vicious virus by accident. Yet things got even worse last year, when he began to suffer achalasia, a disease that causes swallowing difficulties and frequent backward flow of stomach contents after eating food.

The sickness also makes it a huge difficulty for the patient to take medicines. The highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for treating AIDS was delayed again and again for him, leaving the replicating process of human immune virus (HIV) uncontrolled in his body.

He went to many hospitals to seek help, but in vain. When he finally met Zhu Biao,  an expert in diagnosis and treatment of AIDS and the deputy director of FAHZU's Department of Infectious Diseases, Mr Chen was already so ravaged by AIDS and achalasia that he was literally on verge of total collapse, both of physique and mind.

An MDT (multidisciplinary team) consultation was immediately organized for Mr Chen's case. Director Ji Feng of the gastroenterology department's endoscopy center, deputy director Tu Zhengliang of the respiratory medicine department, deputy director Hu Shaohua of the mental health department and deputy director Gao Yuan of the gastrointestinal surgery department discussed about every detail for his treatment.

The doctors decided to perform cardiac sphincter disconnection through peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) procedure to cure Mr Chen's achalasia.

It is the first-ever such a surgical operation to be performed in China for an AIDS patient.

The operation was performed by Director Ji Feng of the endoscopy center two days after the MDT consultation.

Tears welled up in Mr Chen's eyes when he woke up from the 40-minute-long operation. He was very thankful for the doctors, who did not cold-shoulder him as an AIDS patient and never hesitated to do the operation even though they clearly knew that his HIV viral load was terribly high.

On the next day of the operation, accompanied by doctors and nurses, Mr Chen tried to drink water. One mouthful after another went down smoothly. The dreadful swallowing difficulty did not happen. "I can drink now, I can eat now!" he exalted.

He then expressed gratitude for Director Ji Feng and Deputy Director Zhu Biao and their teams. "Thank you very much for having not abandoned me and giving me a new life!"

What is partly behind the young man's thanks expressed shortly before the World AIDS Day was his miserable social experiences. Many people despise and distance themselves from AIDS victims.

Let's now give more care and love to AIDS victims, help them get rid of the fear over the yet incurable disease and enjoy the happiness of life.

December 1 is named the World AIDS Day by the World Health Organization as the world's first case of AIDS was officially found on this day in 1981.

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