Loving couple's tragic secret

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 August, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 August, 1993, 12:00am

AH-WAI and Ah-wan (not their real names) are a loving couple in their 20s. They live their lives around two sons, and AIDS.

The husband, Ah-wai, tested HIV-positive five years ago after an operation. Ah-wan, a few months pregnant with their second son, tested negative.

But they were determined to save their relationship, which has lasted 11 years.

The two had as teenagers doing summer vacation work. They were married two years later and had their first son seven years ago.

At 23, Ah-wai went into hospital for an operation. He felt scared and numb when the doctor told him he had tested HIV-positive.

''It felt like the end of the world,'' his wife said.

''I remember hearing the words but not really understanding what it all meant.'' Nowadays, they watch their children play and wonder what the future holds for the two young boys.

Ah-wai worries about security for his family. They received compensation from the Government recently, but are unsure whether it will feed, clothe, house and educate two young boys until manhood.

''The word 'future' seems to be a dirty word because there doesn't seem to be a future for me,'' he said.

A haemophiliac, he became infected through a blood transfusion. But he also recognises how easily a moment of irresponsibility could infiltrate a family.

''If a husband is tempted to have an affair, he should think how easy it is to get HIV-infected or sexually transmitted diseases. The long-term penalties for the whole family aren't worth it.

''A lot of sexual contact is more psychological than physical so men should control their urges, even when they feel like going to a prostitute.'' He loves his family but regrets getting married.

''If I had known what it would be like, I would not have wanted to make them miserable,'' he said.