Never thought we would see this in the age of so much social marketing on HIV/AIDS in Jamaica by the Ministry of Health and other non governmental organizations stigmatization leading to ostracism here yet again and to add insult to injury the alleged culprits are persons said to be employed at the very clinic where he seeks medical attention plus he was accused of being gay. Well I hope he takes up the route of reporting this to the National AIDS Committee and have their investigative team step on this with urgency.
That alleged employee of the clinic needs an intervention as well as the entire community requires an intense and sustained community outreach program and interventions to curb that mix up and the obvious conflation that HIV/AIDS is a gay disease yet still thus instilling fear and dread.
At least the Star News is less sensational this time around and some thought was put into preparing this article:
A man who has been living with AIDS was recently beaten and chased from a Kingston community by residents who insisted they didn’t want him there.
THE WEEKEND STAR understands that 42-year-old Mario Watsonwas recently assaulted by thugs from the Swallowfield community and told he should leave and never return.
Watson told our news team, “I rented a small room from a landlord that resides in the community and have been residing there for about four months … I was warned by the landlord not to tell people I had the virus and I made sure not to disobey.”
Watson, who says he contracted the virus after having unprotected sex with an exotic dancer in Montego Bay, told THE WEEKEND STAR that his ‘secret’ was made public in the community by a female security guard.
The guard, he said, is employed at a hospital where he went for treatment and also resides in the community.
He explained, “I went to the ……. hospital to get treatment and assistance and that’s where I saw the lady working as a security guard at the entrance… . She didn’t know where I was from until she saw me again in her community.”
He continued, “One day I was walking pass and saw her and a friend sitting and overheard her saying…”dah man deh a b…yman and him have AIDS” and her friend laughed.”
THE WEEKEND STAR was told that since that outburst, thugs in the community started to antagonise Watson.
Two weeks ago Watson, who insist he isn’t a homosexual, said that he was on his way home when he was attacked after being shown a gun a few days before by some thugs.
He recalls, “I was walking and someone said ‘Hey Yankee’ (Watson has a foreign accent) and the next thing I felt was a burning sensation at the back of my head… Blood followed after and I ran to the station with my bloodstained shirt and made a report and a receipt was issued.”
Watson said despite his protest, he was driven around the community in a police vehicle in an attempt to find his attackers however it was not fruitful.
The following day he said he noticed that his wall had been spray painted with the words; “We kill informer a Swallowfield aka ‘killingfield’…HIV b…yman don’t bow”.
Later in the day Watson alleges, a ‘tall man’ who saw him said, “Don’t mek we see you tomorrow in Swallowfield”.
He said he went back to the police and made them aware of the threats.
Watson later alleges that when he went back home it was ransacked, his laptop gone, cell phone was missing , bed was turned over and his pet fish left for dead after the tank was turned over.
An officer at the Stadium police confirmed that two reports were made by Watson and they are still investigating. The officer said that they have a medical report from KPH outlining the injuries to Watson.
Checks made with the Jamaica Aids Support revealed that no report of this matter was made to them.
A representative expressed to our news team, “We have no knowledge of this matter, however the normal procedure would be for us to investigate first, find out if there is a community based group that deals with anything social whether it is a social club or youth club and then offer counselling…We wouldn’t just go in like that.”
Watson said after the advice of his pastor he has since left the community and is relocating to somewhere he can have peace and quiet.