Child with AIDS ‘jailed’ at orphanage for three years, looking for adopter
The three-and-a-half-year-old tot is able to use a spoon and have a meal himself. He loves to bounce up and down on the bed. He smiles when he sees strangers and calls them “uncle” or “auntie.” This boy, who looks as ordinary as any toddler his age, can only stay in a confined space and is kept away from other little children.
Xiao Ling was abandoned by his biological parents when he was only one years old after they found that he is an HIV carrier. For the past three years, he has been living an isolated and sheltered life in his own little world at an orphanage in Zhongshan, Guangdong province.
However, most Chinese netizens, on reading the news, felt strong indignation against the orphanage’s way of treating Xiao Ling and questioned its scientific validity. (Translated later in this post)
The nurses station at the Zhongshan Municipal Welfare Home for Children is about 100 square meters (1,080 square feet) large. It has become the major growing environment and playground for Xiao Ling. The nurses there are Xiao Ling’s closest family.
At the nurses station that he calls ‘home,’ Xiao Ling has his own closet, washer, utensils, cups and potty that is shared with no one else. His laundry is washed separately, air-dried separately and put away separately. His potty is emptied, washed and disinfected after each use. The nurses are on duty around the clock. At around 9 or 10 p.m., Xiao Ling goes to his own bed.
Xiao Ling likes to cuddle against the nurses. Whenever strangers come to visit him, he will be shy and cringe at first, and soon lay down his guard and hold hands with them, or hug them. Those who were hugged by Xiao Ling did display a certain degree of concern and vigilance, but no one actually had the heart to push him away after seeing how carefree and happy he is. Because he is an HIV carrier, nurses are particularly worried his fingernails will scrape his skin, and they trim his nails much more often than they do to other children at the orphanage.
When nurses are free, they take him outside to the backyard and the garden for a stroll, but never any further. “He must be closely watched by an adult in case any accident happen.”
If a child gets sick or needs special care, caretakers will bring the child to the nurses station. This is Xiao Ling’s happiest moment, as then he can invite the little friend over to play ball with him. There is a kindergarten inside the orphanage, but Xiao Ling is forbidden from going there. He can only learn to read children’s alphabet books with caretakers’ help. Xiao Ling is very smart. He is a quick learner, and loves to learn new things.
Since the founding of the Zhongshan Welfare Home for Children in 2002, Xiao Ling is the first and the only AIDS patient. On July 22, 2008, he was abandoned by his parents and sent to the Welfare Home for Children. On July 31, 2008, he tested HIV positive. In early 2010, he is confirmed as an AIDS carrier.
Selected comments from Sina Weibo
plumage_5：Why windows and the bed have iron bars?? Why lock up the child?? Isn’t it too cruel??
熊宝宝_0920：Why (they) gave birth (to him)? A sinful act! Only the child is worth sympathy.
快乐的牛2011：Get rid of the discrimination.
free巫婆走在死亡的路上：A tragedy where the father’s debt is paid by the son. There are many more, and (they’re) equally absurd. In this society, Every wrong should be traced back to its instigator and every debt should be traced back to its debtor. Say no to ignorance.
幸运的一支笔：Does the Welfare Home have any professional knowledge?
morningchorus：What crime did the child commit? Normal contact is not going to cause any transmission. Isn’t the Welfare Home ruining the child?
gentlegege：Living in an iron cage since childhood, What a big torture it is to the child?
海燕留在济南：Three years ago, (I) went to this Welfare Home as a volunteer. It is located in shady green mountains. The yard was built as nicely as that of a high-end private school. However, going inside further, (I) saw the windows and the corridor were densely covered by barbed wires. In a moment, the beautiful turned dreadful and horrific.
骑着蜗牛追世界lk：Isn’t it driving people crazy? The damned Welfare Home. The monstrous society. So inhuman!!!!
周游世界的小熊妈妈：So poor! Why coop him up as if he were a monkey?
zinc_ns：Chinese people’s knowledge of AIDS is really scanty, to the point of pathetic. //@become-sea: China has a long way to go for fighting against AIDS. The research and development of the vaccine is beset with difficulties. In fact, to change people’s attitude towards HIV carriers would be even harder…
空中微尘–MAN：It is not his fault. Why treat him like this? It is those who gave birth to him and yet refuse to take responsibility who are in the wrong!
曈妈也没闲着：So poor, boy. Give you a hug! I hope the aunties at the Welfare Home can read these warm comments on the Internet to him and let him know that there is warmth in the world.
笨笨1982：Dear baby, you are suffering. I so want to take you out for a walk.
快乐北京俏嘉儿：It so makes people sad and sorry. The kid is so wretched. Why can’t he play with other kids? It can’t be spread through casual contact. The child will have trauma (if they do it) like this. He is so little. The fate is so unfair to him.
JuliaZheng：Do they have knowledge? Do they have normal human feelings?!
知足常乐1127：I saw so many bars.
风眉：Feel way too sad. How can I help you, dear kid?
披星戴月上路：There is no other way out. The reality is always full of helplessness and cruelty…From parents’ standpoint, who is willing to let his own child play with him? (I) Feel deep regret.
北京那个王振清：The wretched kid! Should learn to scientifically prevent infection and treat this poor kid with humanity.
永远的手镯：Also, the media please, you don’t have to wait until World AIDS Day to report this. Report it immediately after you find out about it even in normal times.
G丨owing：You guys all talk about equality, no discrimination and that you don’t mind…Hepatitis B is even less infectious, and yet it still comes in for discrimination…let alone AIDS…The society is always unfair! This is the reality that cannot be denied!
fd的幸福时光：So sad on reading this. Please do not discriminate against children with AIDS. They are innocent. They need to grow up in a normal environment!
兜兜的沙发：Those scientists, hurry up and work out an effective cure to save this child. He is innocent and sinless. He shouldn’t have been “jailed” there.
lovebaibaiforever：The parents with AIDS deserve a thousand deaths. They coveted the happiness at that moment, but in the mean time, they inflicted permanent cruelty to the life of their biological son. What is more horrible is they even went so far to abandon him. Worse than beasts! What a sinful act!