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4/11/08 08:44 am

While others are too worried about Britney's underwear or lack there of, here's real news.

Kyrgyz Babies Pass HIV to Mothers

Posted: 2008-04-10 10:51:28
OSH, Kyrgyzstan (April 9) - Not long ago, she was a wife, mother and teacher. Now Dilfuza Mustafakulova is HIV-positive and has lost her husband and her job. Mustafakulova's baby son was among 72 children infected with the virus at two Kyrgyz hospitals. Sixteen mothers also have contracted it - in some cases by breast-feeding their children.

The scandal has led to charges of negligence against 14 medical workers in the impoverished former Soviet republic, where investigators suspect the children were infected by tainted blood and the reuse of needles.



Dilfuza Mustafakulova, left, and Zarifa Shamshiyeva are among 16 mothers who got HIV from their children.
Leila Saralayeva, AP

Dilfuza Mustafakulova, left, and Zarifa Shamshiyeva are among 16 Kyrgyz mothers who got HIV from their children. Dozens of children were infected at two hospitals that used tainted blood and unsanitary needles.


Although HIV infection from breast-feeding is rare, it is possible, usually when the baby has mouth sores and the mother has lesions on her nipples, according to AIDS experts. Mustafakulova, whose son was 7 months old at the time, said her breasts were cracked and bleeding.

Now, abandoned by her husband and shunned by her in-laws, she struggles to feed herself and her three children with little government support.

Since the first cases were discovered in July, hundreds of children and their parents have been tested in southern Kyrgyzstan. Health Minister Marat Mambetov announced Tuesday that the infections, which began in the summer of 2006, had been contained.

Some 1,600 people are infected with HIV in the Central Asian nation of 5 million people, according to official figures - 15 times more than in 2002. AIDS experts estimate the real number is closer to 6,000. The majority of cases stem from intravenous drug use.

The infected children are getting free antiretroviral drugs, but their mothers have been denied treatment.

Erkin Bakiyev, deputy director of the national AIDS center, said the women are not entitled to free drugs if they are in the early stages of infection, as Mustafakulova is. And the women have no money to buy the drugs themselves.

"These women are having huge financial difficulties. They should be getting nutritious food, but they are not able to get jobs or to provide decent food for themselves or their children," said Fatima Koshokova, director of Rainbow, a non-governmental agency assisting Mustafakulova and other infected mothers.

Mustafakulova's troubles began in June, when her son developed a high fever. She took him to the Nookat hospital, where she said doctors put him on an intravenous drip. When he did not get better, she took him to the hospital in Osh, the country's second-largest city.

After more than a month in the hospital, her son still was not well and she was also feeling weak, so they returned to their village of Zhani-Nookat, about 45 miles southwest of Osh. In October, they both tested positive for HIV.

Mustafakulova's husband and two older sons, aged 6 and 12, tested negative.

It has not been established where the infection originated. Of the 72 children infected, some were treated only in Nookat and others only in Osh, so both hospitals are suspected.

"Where else could my child and I become infected if I don't use narcotics and don't live an immoral life?" Mustafakulova said during a recent visit to the Rainbow center. "This could only be the irresponsibility of doctors."

She was abandoned by her husband, who like many Kyrgyz men spends much of his time in Russia, where he can find work. No longer welcome in her in-laws' home, she and her children moved in with her parents. She sold her only possession, a small plot of land, to pay for her son's medical treatment.

"I have no faith in the future," said Mustafakulova, looking exhausted and thin, her eyes vacant. "What will become of my sons?"

The story of Mustafakulova's fellow villager, Zarifa Shamshiyeva, is remarkably similar. She took her daughter to the Nookat hospital in June 2006, where her little girl, then about 1, was put on an intravenous drip before being transferred to the bigger hospital in Osh. She and her child both tested positive in November.

Her husband, who tested negative, left her, though he occasionally sends money for food.

She has hidden her infection from her neighbors and even from her two teenage daughters, 14 and 16. The eldest is of marriageable age. "How could she find a good husband if our neighbors and everyone else knew about our diagnosis?" asked Shamshiyeva, 34.

Both children are being treated with antiretroviral drugs from the Nookat hospital. But Shamshiyeva said the doctor told her: "You're strong. You'll live as long as God wills."

Neither woman qualifies for welfare since they are still legally married. Their HIV-infected children are entitled to monthly payments of $23, a pittance even in Kyrgyzstan.

Their case has been taken up by Rainbow, which provides free legal assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS.

"The husbands of many of these women leave when they learn the diagnosis, and these women are left alone with their grief," said Fatima Khabibullina, a lawyer at the center.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2008-04-10 10:26:43

4/8/08 10:23 pm - a good reminder

I thought this was really good and wanted to share it with you all.
(both men & women, sons & daughters - need to read this)


After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out
to dinner and a movie. She said, 'I love you, but I know this other
woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you.'

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has
been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three
children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.

That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.

'What's wrong, aren't you well,' she asked?
My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a
surprise invitation is a sign of bad news.

'I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you,' I
responded. 'Just the two of us.'
She thought about it for a moment, and then said, 'I would like that
very much.'

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit
nervous. When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to
be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She
had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to
celebrate her last wedding anniversary.

She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angels. 'I told my
friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were
impressed,' she said, as she got into the car. 'They can't wait to hear
about our meeting.'

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and
cozy. My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat
down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half
way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there
staring at me. A nostalgic smile was on her lips. 'It was I who used to
have to read the menu when you were small,' she said. 'Then it's time
that you relax and let me return the favor,' I responded.

During the dinner, we had an agreeable
conversation- -nothing extraordinary but catching up on recent events of
each other's life. We talked so much that we missed the movie.

As we arrived at her house later, she said, 'I'll go out with you again,
but only if you let me invite you.' I agreed.

'How was your dinner date?' asked my wife when I got home.
'Very nice. Much more so than I could have imagined,'
I answered.

A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened
so suddenly that I didn't have a chance to do anything for her.

Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant
receipt from the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note
said: 'I paid this bill in advance. I wasn't sure that I could be there;
but nevertheless, I paid for two plates - one for you and the other for
your wife.
You will never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son.'

At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: 'I LOVE
YOU' and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in
life is more important than your family. Give them the time they
deserve, because these things cannot be put off till 'some other time.'

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after
you've had a baby.... somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother,
'normal' is history.
* * *
Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct .. somebody never
took a three-year-old shopping.
* * *
Somebody said being a mother is boring ....
somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.

Somebody said if you're a 'good' mother, your child will 'turn out good'....
somebody thinks a child comes with directions and a guarantee.
* * *
Somebody said 'good' mothers never raise their voices ....
somebody never came out the back door just in time to see her child hit a golf
ball through the neighbor's kitchen window.
* * *
Somebody said you don't need an education to be a mother....
somebody never helped a fourth grader with his math.
* * *
Somebody said you can't love the second child as much as you love the first ....
somebody doesn't have two children.
* * *
Somebody said a mother can find all the answers to her child-rearing questions in the books....
somebody never had a child stuff beans up his nose or in his ears.
* * *
Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery
(or going through a long adoption process)....
somebody never watched her 'baby' get on the bus for the first day of kindergarten ...
or on a plane headed for military 'boot camp.'
* * *
Somebody said a mother can do her job with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind her back ..
somebody never organized seven giggling Brownies to sell cookies.
* * *
Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married....
somebody doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's heartstrings.
* * *
Somebody said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home....
somebody never had grandchildren.
* * *
Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell her....
somebody isn't a mother.

4/7/08 11:26 pm

This is my poem for the civil rights movement project. It's still under construction. There's so much to say. But it's not a work of prose so I can't ramble on. I decided to go in a little bit of a different direction, focusing on American themes through the eyes of someone wishing to be apart of them yet isn't. I chose the title from the day Pres. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He gave a really touching speech that spoke to all of America of the struggle of African-Americans, drawing from the slogan of the civil rights activists with the title "And We Shall Overcome."

so here's what I got...

Second Class Citizens of ‘65

You say “Give me your tired, your poor,

and your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

I say I am your tired and your poor

with a vision wishing to be.

You say “From every mountain side let freedom ring.”

Yet a song of freedom is one I cannot sing.

You say “every heart beats true

 ‘neath the red, white, and blue.”

But this American heart struggles to beat

as the crimson blood is spilt at our feet.


But we shall overcome

as we, as Americans, become one.

3/20/08 03:49 pm - I'm not gonna lie.

I just bought this shirt for $10 from VS and I'm very excited for its arrival. lol

3/20/08 01:14 pm

This is my newest poem written today before class. We had to focus on a color and use imagery to bring it to life in the eyes of the reader. I'd still like to sit & try to revise it again later. (the 5th stanza bugs me)

Get Inspi(red)


I sew this garment of red for certain solidarity

A bright crimson flows in the heart of my community


As my fingers tremble, the thick, red thread keeps me strong

We struggle with our symptoms the whole day long


At night my body sweats and I ache for the sun to rise

Yet as it comes in God’s glory, another 4, 400 dies


Here in Lesotho, we have a chance, a reason to fight

Our contribution, products of (RED) made take flight


Across the world, red garments are worn in support to

stop the spread of AIDS. The impact affects you.


Ghana, Swaziland, Rwanda- places to embrace

We all stand as one, we stand as the human race



3/11/08 06:41 pm - free association

Psychoanalysis: if you plan to do this, don't read the bottom answers till after you complete it yourself.

1. You are walking in the woods. You are not alone. Who's with you?
My mom

2. You are walking in the woods. You see an animal. What kind of animal?
a fox

3. What interaction takes place between you and the animal?
we make eye contact and then go our separate ways

4. You walk deeper in the woods. You enter a clearing, and before you is your dream house. How big is it?
It's large in the ground it covers, mostly 90 degree angles. It 'smodern yet with a Mediterranean vibe.

5. Is your dream house surrounded by a fence?
yes, of black rod iron.

6. You enter the house. You walk into the dining room and see the dining table is covered with? ..
it has a bouquet of flowers & a glass of wine & a book

7. You exit the house and a cup is on the ground, what kind is it?
a wine glass like the one on the table inside

8. What do you do with the cup?
take it inside, someone must of forgotten it.

9. You walk to the edge of the property where you find yourself standing at a body of water, what is it?
a beautiful lagoon with turquoise water

10. how do you cross that body of water?
there's a lovely white wooden bridge that crosses to the other side


1. The person who you are walking in the woods with is the most important to you.

2. The size of the animal is representative of your perception of the size of your problems in your life.

3. The severity of the interaction you have with the animal is representative of how you deal with your problems.

4. The size of your dream home is representative of the size of your ambition.

5. A lack of a fence is indicative of an open personality. People are welcome at all times. The presence of a fence indicates a closed personality. You'd prefer people not drop by unannounced.

6. If your table did NOT include food, flowers, or people, then you are generally unhappy.

7. The durability of the material with the cup is representative of the perceived durability of your relationship.

8. What you did with the cup is representative of your attitude.

9. The size of the body of water is representative of the size of your relationships.

10. The way you cross the water is representative to how easy or hard you expect your life to be.

2/24/08 11:29 pm

Tonight I felt inspired (to do everything but my 2 poems for Tuesday's class). I'm thinking of choreographing a dance (ft. 3 dancers) to The Beatles "Come Together" from the LOVE album. I just need to find 2 other dancers as crazy as I am.

While sifting through my music on my itunes, I came across Eva Cassidy's album, Song Bird. It was given to me in 2004 at Christmas from my friend Laura & her parents. It's definitely an album any true lover of music should own & take out from time to time.

During the end of the song, "Autumn Leaves," there are a few notes there, that almost every time, bring tears to my eyes.
Unfortunately, Ms. Cassidy was taken too soon at the age of 33. But it's nice to know that such rare and pure talent came out of Maryland.
I just wish I had of been old enough & aware enough to see her live when she was performing locally in the 90's.

2/21/08 09:19 am - Mother Theresa's prayer

May today there be peace within.  
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.  
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.  
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.  
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing,
dance, praise and love.  
It is there for each and every one of us.


2/18/08 10:53 pm -

Tarot Card
(Equivalent of "6/28/1986")
The Empress: The essence of femininity and matriarchy. Creativity, productivity, and the foundation of civilization. Initiative and practical actions that promote prosperity, comfort and luxury. Fruitfulness and motherhood.

(Equivalent of "Ashley Laurin Harris")
Fehu represents cattle the Norse symbol of wealth. This rune has some interesting implications based on the fact that cattle, unlike land, move about of their own accord. Cattle also reproduce, so this rune often speaks of wealth that renews or perpetuates itself. Wealth takes many forms, but this rune generally represents the value that is purely material or monetary in nature. Alternatively, this rune is deeply associated with Frey, and hence can be the harbinger of fertility and children.

Birth Mates
(Equivalents of "6/28/1986")

Adam Sandler, Avril Lavigne, M. C. Escher, T. E. Lawrence, Will Smith

Public Role

Words that embody your presence are "Anarchy, Courage, Duty, Fascism, Fury, Galaxy, Honor, Lizard, Robot, Secret, Shadow, Vatican, Vogue".

Words that embody people or things in your periphery are "Infinity, Monolith, Platinum, Puzzle, Ugliness, Voyeur".

Private Persona

Words that embody things that may be a part of you are "Aurora, Beauty, Bitter, Chariot, Cocktail, Craving, Cross, Dance, Dazzle, Energy, Hand, Job, Jury, Melody, Messiah, Occult, Opium, Pinnacle, Red, Tantra, Tarot, Vassal, Vixen, Weapon".

Words that embody people or things in your periphery are "Alchemy, Challenge, Chameleon, Clone, Clown, Contract, Danger, Destruction, Enigma, Fiction, Garden, Green, Guitar, Guru, Harmony, Healer, Indulgence, Judgment, Killer, Laugh, Lord, Lyric, Master, Pattern, Pentacle, Pledge, Poem, Puppet, Revenge, Ripple, Rodent, Scholar, Silence, Skunk, Soul, Speed, Terror, Thirst, Touch, Unicorn, Uranus, Victim, Water, Whale, Work".

2/18/08 09:21 pm - How To Tell If Your Feet Stink ^_^

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