Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Hello again viewers! Before anything else, all of us here at Different Shades of Pink would like to apologize for the recent hiatus. However, now we’re back and better than ever before! And what better way to start of a lovely July than with our third (YES THIRD!) Call for Entries.

In conjunction with the recently passed gay marriage ruling in the United States, our theme for this month will be “Being Proud of Who You”. We are calling out to anyone, regardless of age, gender identity, beliefs or sexual orientation to share their stories of self discovery and acceptance of who you are, the struggles you’ve faced in order to come to such a decision and the efforts you’ve made to become proud who you are today. (Not to mention what your hopes are for the future that’s to come)

Here are the requirements for your article:

1) Articles can be written in English, Malay or Chinese.
2) Articles should be approximately 1,000 words long.
3) Articles should adhere to the theme of “Being Proud of Who You Are”
4) Writers have the option to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym. 
5) Writers may include pictures, so long as they credit the source. 
6) Articles should not contain offensive elements such as racism, sexism or pornography.   
7) Please email your submission to ptfmalaysia.media@gmail.com by the 31st of July 2015.

If you have any enquiries, please feel free to email your questions to ptfmalaysia.media@gmail.com as well. 

Looking forward to your submissions! 

_____________________________________________

Hello lagi para pembaca! Pertama sekali , kami semua dari Different Shades of Pink ingin memohon maaf kerana telah lebih 2 bulan tidak memaparkan apa-apa. Walau bagaimanapun, kini kami kembali dan lebih baik berbanding sebelum ini! Dan apa cara yang lebih baik daripada memulakan bulan Julai ini dengan Panggilan untuk Penyertaan kami yang ketiga.

  Sempena kelulusan perkahwinan sama-seks di Amerika Syarikat, tema kami kali ini adalah "Berbangga dengan Diri Kamu Sendiri”". Kami menyeru kepada sesiapa sahaja, tanpa mengira usia, jantina, kepercayaan atau orientasi seksual untuk berkongsi pengalaman pengenalan diri, halangan yang telah anda hadapi untuk menerima diri kamu sendiri dan usaha yang telah anda lakukan untuk berbangga dengan diri anda hari ini.
(Termasuklah harapan anda adalah untuk masa yang akan datang)

Syarat-syarat penyertaan adalah:

1) Rencana anda perlu ditulis di dalam Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Inggeris ataupun Bahasa Cina.
2) Rencana anda perlu ditulis dalam jangka 1,000 perkataan.
3) Rencana anda perlu selari dengan tema "Berbangga dengan Diri Kamu Sendiri".
4) Anda mempunyai pilihan untuk tidak menggunakan nama sebenar ataupun tidak meletakkan nama kepada karya anda.
5) Anda boleh mengunakan gambar, tapi anda perlu memberi kepujian kepada jurugambar ataupun sumbernya.
6) Rencana anda tidak boleh mempunyai unsur-unsur penghinaan seperti racism, sexism atau unsur pornografi.
7) Sila menghantar penyertaan anda melalui emel kepada ptfmalaysia.media@gmail.com sebelum Julai 31 2015

Sebarang pertanyaan boleh dihantar kepada ptfmalaysia.media@gmail.com juga.


Kami sedia menanti penyertaan-penyertaan anda! 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Hubungan Seorang Perempuan Dengan HIV/AIDS

Words by Salina Shaari

Kesanan penyakit HIV/AIDS di Malaysia pada tahun 1986 .Selang beberapa tahun selepas itu, HIV/AIDS telah menjadi penyakit berjangkit utama yang menyebabkan kematian. Sekitar 1990an HIV/AIDS mula dikenali menjangkiti kepada wanita. Nisbah wanita yang dijangkiti virus HIV/AIDS ketika itu amatlah rendah jika dibandingkan dengan kadar jangkitan terhadap lelaki.

       Diantara wanita tersebut ialah saya. Saya Salina, seorang wanita yang telah lama hidup dengan HIV/AIDS. Saya telah hidup dengan HIV selama 20 tahun. Wanita seperti saya mudah terdedah dengan jangkitan dan ia boleh berlaku melalui hubungan seks, penggunaan jarum suntikan yang sama dengan pembawa virus HIV akibat penyalahgunaan dadah,   pemindahan darah semasa  pembedahan daripada darah pembawa virus HIV/AIDS ataupun jangkitan daripada ibu yang pembawa HIV/AIDS kepada anak.

  Wanita yang merupakan HIV positif menghadapi pelbagai isu seperti isu kesihatan, rawatan, pencegahan, stigma dan diskriminasi serta bebanan tanggungjawab terhadap keluarga. Sebagai seorang wanita yang hidup dengan HIV/AIDS, kekuatan mental, emosi serta pengetahuan HIV/AIDS amat penting. Perkara ini telah menolong saya berfikir secara rasional dalam membentuk hidup saya di masa hadapan.

Kesukaran saya berdepan dengan semua masalah ini dapat diatasi hasil daripada nasihat dan panduan daripada Dato' Dr Christopher Lee yang merupakan pakar untuk penyakit berjangkit ketika saya mendapat tahu yang saya dijangkiti penyakit ini. Ketiadaan rakan sokong bantu dan kaunselor yang arif tentang HIV/AIDS merupakan masalah utama saya dan wanita seperti saya yang hidup dengan HIV/AIDS pada awal 1990an.

(Image from Google)

       Gangguan emosi dan perasaan sukar untuk menerima kenyataan adalah cabaran utama wanita HIV positif. Pada waktu itu, hidup umpama seperti "pokok tiada baja" ataupun “bangkai bernyawa". Syukur kepada Tuhan yang sebagai seorang Muslimah, saya menerima takdir dengan hati yang terbuka dan berfikir secara bijak dengan mengawal emosi saya. Apa yang ada ketika itu hanya kematian kerana belum ada lagi sebarang rawatan sekitar tahun 1995. Namun begitu , ini bukanlah penyebab untuk saya tidak akur kepada temujanji yang ditetapkan. Kaedah rawatan untuk wanita HIV positif yang disediakan dari dahulu hingga sekarang adalah sama seperti lelaki. Rawatan ulangan tertakluk kepada kesihatan wanita itu sendiri. Wanita HIV positif seperti saya yang belum memulakan  rawatan HAART (pada masa itu) berisiko untuk mendapat jangkitan lain seperti kanser serviks dan lain-lain lagi. Saya amat bernasib baik kerana sepanjang 14 tahun sebelum saya memulakan rawatan HAART, saya tidak mendapat penyakit yang boleh memudaratkan kesihatan saya. Hanya apabila selepas memulakan HAART saya mendapat T.B iaitu selepas 16 tahun hidup dengan virus HIV. 

Dua tahun selepas kematian suami saya yang pertama akibat AIDS, saya berkahwin semula dengan seorang lelaki HIV negatif yang mengetahui akan status saya. Pada tahun 1999, prosedur perkahwinan tidak memerlukan pasangan yang ingin berkahwin untuk membuat ujian HIV. Ramai dikalangan wanita HIV positif berkahwin dan meneruskan hidup hingga sekarang. Sekarang, undang- undang telah ditetapkan oleh majlis agama islam di seluruh Malaysia yang mewajibkan semua pasangan yang ingin berkahwin untuk mengambil ujian HIV. Ini akan menghindari wanita HIV positif seperti saya untuk meneruskan hidup mereka dengan pasangan baru. 

Namun begitu, institusi perkahwinan bukanlah penyelamat seseorang wanita daripada dijangkiti virus HIV/AIDS. Wanita yang berkahwin tanpa mengetahui status (HIV) si suami berisiko tinggi mendapat penyakit ini. Wanita seperti saya juga agak sukar untuk meminta si suami menggunakan kondom ketika melakukan hubungan seks. Wanita HIV positif yang belum memulakan rawatan seperti saya berisiko untuk menjangkitkan pasangan seperti suami saya. Oleh kerana itu, langkah pencegahan harus diutamakan dengan penggunaan kondom ketika bersama suami. Tindakan ini dapat mengelakkan jangkitan virus HIV kepada pasangan kita. Selama 17 tahun perkahwinan saya, suami saya bebas daripada jangkitan.      

  Sebenarnya hubungan wanita HIV positif amat besar maknanya membabitkan soal kehidupan berkeluarga. Wanita HIV positif yang telah berkahwin masih mempunyai hak untuk mengandung. Pada tahun 1999, saya mengandungkan anak yang ketiga. Setelah mendapat nasihat daripada doktor di Hospital Kuala Lumpur ketika itu ,saya dibekalkan ubat AZT untuk mengelakkan virus daripada memasuki uri yang boleh menyebabkan jangkitan virus HIV kepada anak didalam kandungan.

Saya melahirkan anak secara normal dan anak saya mendapat rawatan dari pakar kanak-kanak iaitu Dr Kamarul di HKL. Alhamdullilah, anak saya HIV negatif. Pada tahun 2002, saya mengandungkan anak keempat. Prosedurnya tetap sama, cuma kali ini saya perlu menjalani pembedahan dan diikat saluran peranakkan. Menyusu bayi adalah dilarang. Tetapi kesemua anak saya bebas daripada penyakit HIV .Keempat-empat anak saya mengetahui status saya sebagai seorang wanita HIV positif. Sikap keterbukaan  mereka dan prihatin mereka adalah pemangkin semangat saya.                                       
Nasihat untuk  mengikat saluran peranakkan pada zaman dahulu merupakan nasikhat yang baik memandangkan tiada rawatan ubat HAART ketika itu. Wanita HIV positif seperti saya sekarang  ini pun dinasihatkan untuk “diikat” walaupun telah memulakan rawatan HAART.    Sokongan berterusan untuk wanita HIV positif supaya memulakan rawatan amatlah diharapkan, bukan hanya daripada rakan dari segi bantuan sokongan, tetapi juga dari ahli keluarga terdekat. Memang terdapat sedikit alahan ketika memulakan ubat HAART ,akan tetapi kesan sementara dapat diatasi dengan adanya bantuan dan sokongan moral daripada ahli keluarga. Sehingga ke hari ini saya masih mendapat sokongan dari mereka.     

  Wanita HIV positif yang hidup sihat seperti saya setelah memulakan rawatan dan patuh pada rawatan sebenarnya dapat mengikis stigma masyarakat terhadap wanita yang hidup dengan HIV. Tanggapan negatif mengenai isu kesihatan wanita HIV positif dapat dibalas dengan kejayaan mereka meneruskan kehidupan berkeluarga. Wanita HIV positif bukan pendosa, tetapi kami telah lebih cekal mengharungi kehidupan .  Amalan pemakanan yang berkhasiat dan seimbang amat penting untuk wanita yang hidup dengan HIV. Sepanjang tempoh sebelum memulakan rawatan HAART, saya menjaga kepentingan pemakanan saya. Wanita HIV positif mempunyai sistem imun yang rendah dan mudah mendapat jangkitan. Sistem imun semakin berkurang saban hari jika tiada sebarang rawatan .

  Ketepatan masa juga penting untuk saya yang berada di tahap ini selepas memulakan rawatan. Rawatan ulangan cuma 6 bulan sekali.Ubat-ubatan pula di terima melalui sistem pos .Tiada sebab mengapa saya harus alpa akan kesihatan diri. Walaupun masih lagi terdapat saudara mara yang memulau saya disebabkan status saya, saya menganggap ini semua cabaran  untuk membuktikan wanita berstatus HIV positif boleh menjaga keluarga dan menjalankan hidup yang biasa seperti mereka. Setiap kata-kata negatif harus dibalas dengan ilmu yang boleh mendidik kembali mereka untuk beranggapan baik terhadap wanita HIV positif seperti saya. 

Zero stigma , zero diskriminasi bermula dgn sikap wanita HIV positif . Saya wanita HIV positif yang telah berjaya membuktikan kaedah rawatan sekarang dapat mengelakkan virus HIV menjadi satu penyakit yang dikenali AIDS.

Monday, 6 April 2015

My Experience as a Back To School Volunteer

Words by Adam Noor
Pictures by Sheril A. Bustaman

Volunteering has always been central to me. Any opportunity to perform an act of kindness, be it large or small, never fails to excite me. I’ve always been interested in activities that offer the valuable opportunity to help others, and what better way than to do so than by volunteering as an English tutor for PT Foundation’s “Back to School” program. The program, aimed at developing and improving the English competency for children who are affected or infected with HIV provided me with the chance to contribute to the betterment of those in need within our community. More importantly, the program serves as a beneficial activity apart from my normal job as a seriously boring and emotionless corporate drone working from 9 to Godknowswhen on a daily-basis. I’ve always felt the intrinsic need to help out in any way possible for those who need assistance. Besides, I relish the chance to get up on an early Sunday morning for something that serves a greater purpose for our community. Yes, what better way to spend our early Sunday mornings!

I remember the first time arriving for the program’s orientation, after getting lost walking around confusingly around Chow Kit and finally finding this wonderful little place called PT Foundation on the corner of Jalan Ipoh Kecil. I remember being greeted for the first time by Surpreet and Zynie, two of the key people in PT Foundation responsible for the advent of the Program. I also remember getting to know some of the new tutors during the orientation, several of them the nicest people, who would later become some of the closest people in PT Foundation to me who would make the tutoring experience that much more pleasant and fulfilling.

At the volunteer orientation back in January 2015.

 I also remember my first time tutoring English to the students. To be fair, I have limited tutoring experience in English! I was uncertain going into the program as I had no idea what it would be like working with students and making them to fully understand the basics of English. Nonetheless, there’s nothing to deter a person with a genuine intention when it comes to helping others. I propelled myself to be a not-so-bad English teacher for those students. I remember the first time tutoring Arif (not his real name). He was a student who exceeded my expectations with his impressive command of English and the genuine willingness to learn English. Personally, its these sort of students and their positive attitude that makes waking up on an early Sunday morning worthwhile.

Working on reading exercises.

It is hard to imagine that it has been 2 months since I first started my English tutoring at the program in PT Foundation. Although I have the privilege to tutor different students every week, the sensation and the sense of fulfilment that I first experienced during the initial stages of my tutoring has never ceased nor diminished. I anticipate each week with a new sense of excitement and another opportunity to assist the students in discovering and learning new words, phrases, vocabulary, sentences etc. I have to admit it does leave a satisfactory “feel good” sensation as I thoroughly enjoy seeing that even with my limited knowledge and skills, I was able to make a difference in the improvement of the students’ English competency. It does bring a sense of joy knowing that they were able to grasp the basic concepts of the vocabulary after tirelessly teaching them for hours (and even weeks!). But the best reward are always the grateful smiles of the student. In a way, seeing them happy really does make me happy as well. Ah, those adorable, sweet smiles from those students.   

There are many other stories that I could tell you that can convince you of the limitless value of volunteering. But to be honest, I thoroughly enjoy being part of a program which works towards improving things for the betterment of others. Volunteering in PT Foundation has provided me with the opportunities to grow, improve myself and make a difference in someone else’s life as well as my own. I believe it is essential to continue with such initiative and experience and I believe that in return, these activities make me a better person. Ironically, it is tutoring for the students in the program for PT Foundation that taught me lessons that are equally important to those students as it is for me in shaping myself to be a better person. I would attribute volunteerism to leading me to be a better person and I am grateful to PT Foundation for providing me with the valuable chance to serve those around me in need. What I have learned over and over is that giving my time and self returns back tenfold of what I give.

New words and new experiences.

I genuinely believe that in order to be a better person, it is crucial for us to push for more enriching experiences in our lives. I believe that volunteering can be the best teacher for us because as tutors, we are able to be the best teachers for our students in the program. My time as an English tutor had allowed me to get a glimpse of the reality of those from the less-advantage family background and the challenges they face; mainly from the education and financial aspects. My time as a tutor has also made me understand the difficulties faced by many to learn and effectively master the command of English regardless of how many claim the language to be relatively easy to learn (including me previously!). Such experience has given me a completely new perspective on the realities of life and the education system in this country. On a larger scale, I realize that we are all the same and nothing more than a reflection of the human condition in its totality, regardless of our contrasting socioeconomic backgrounds. In essence, I realized something I already knew subconsciously: every individual is equally deserving of help in his or her time of need. 

To get to know more about the Berjaya Back To School Program, please email zynie@ptfmalaysia.org or call 03-4044-4611.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Call For Entries: A Woman's Relationship With HIV/AIDS (Panggilan Untuk Penyertaan: Hubungan Seorang Perempuan Dengan HIV/AIDS)

Different Shades of Pink is proud to announce the second Call for Entries!

  In conjunction with the recently passed International Women’s Day, our theme for Different Shades of Pink will be “A Woman’s Relationship with HIV/AIDs”. We are calling out to all women (transgender women as well) who have encountered HIV/AIDS in their lives. If you’re a woman who is living with HIV/AIDS, or in a relationship with someone who is, or you have a relative who is living with HIV/AIDS, this is your chance to tell us your stories of perseverance, love and empowerment! 

Here are the requirements for your article:

1) Articles can be written in English, Malay or Chinese.
2) Articles should be approximately 1,000 words long.
3) Articles should adhere to the theme of “A Woman’s Relationship with HIV/AIDS”
4) Writers have the option to remain anonymous or use a pseudonym. 
5) Writers may include pictures, so long as they credit the source. 
6) Articles should not contain offensive elements such as racism, sexism or pornography. 
7) Please email your submission to ptfmalaysia.media@gmail.com by the 31st of March 2015.

If you have any enquiries, please feel free to email your questions to ptfmalaysia.media@gmail.com as well. 
Looking forward to your submissions! 

____________________________________________________

Different Shades of Pink dengan ini bangga mengumumkan Panggilan Untuk Penyertaan yang kedua!

  Dengan akhirnya Hari Wanita Kebangsaan, tema kami kali ini adalah "Hubungan Seorang Perempuan dengan HIV/AIDS". Kami memanggil semua perempuan (termasuk golongan perempuan transgender) yang pernah bertembung dengan penyakit HIV/AIDS di dalam hidup mereka untuk menyumbang cerita kepada kami. Jika anda seorang perempuan yang pernah mengalami penyakit HIV/AIDS, ataupun pernah berpacaran dengan seorang yang mengalami HIV/AIDS, inilah peluang untuk berkongsi pengalaman anda!

Syarat-syarat penyertaan adalah:

1) Rencana anda perlu ditulis di dalam Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Inggeris ataupun Bahasa Cina.
2) Rencana anda perlu ditulis dalam jangka 1,000 perkataan.
3) Rencana anda perlu selari dengan tema "Hubungan Seorang Perempuan dengan HIV/AIDS".
4) Anda mempunyai pilihan untuk tidak menggunakan nama sebenar ataupun tidak meletakkan nama kepada karya anda.
5) Anda boleh mengunakan gambar, tapi anda perlu memberi kepujian kepada jurugambar ataupun sumbernya.
6) Rencana anda tidak boleh mempunyai unsur-unsur penghinaan seperti racism, sexism atau unsur pornografi.
7) Sila menghantar penyertaan anda melalui emel kepada ptfmalaysia.media@gmail.com sebelum 31st March 2015.

Sebarang pertanyaan boleh dihantar kepada ptfmalaysia.media@gmail.com juga.

Kami sedia menanti penyertaan-penyertaan anda! 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Love In The Time of HIV/AIDS

By Ram23 

Have you ever wondered what it’s like is to wake up in the morning feel like you are 10 or 20 years older, with pristine numbness in your heart, and you feel unlike a human being? Well, in some niche you will find where your life is heading to but it’s always too late for a realization or sometimes it occurs too early with numerous hindrances. Hard facts, yeah?

It’s certainly hard for me, living in a society with cultural norms, being a subjective subjugation and prejudice is the only thing you face first thing in the morning and also before you sleep, it’s a sheer wreck of emotion on a daily basis, except that you don’t have to pay for it, it comes with free scorn!

Love for a man from a man is considered wrong in this society where the internalization of homophobia happens even within the gay community itself. Even though transsexuality is something common in Malaysia and people are slowly breaking free from the usual stigma, homosexuality seems to create new chaos, at least in Malaysia. People are more comfortable with pedophiles than the term homosexuality.

Jay and I were together for 3 years and it all started 6 years ago. I was 16 and smart enough to access internet and got my first computer. Growing up as an Indian in an orthodoxed family, you have to put aside your interests and behave like a “Man”, they say. I was 10 when I told my parents that I wanted to learn ballet but instead they sent me to Tae Kwando class. Dance is for girls, the first stereotype I faced.

I got to know Jay through PR (Planet Romeo, a gay dating site) 3 years ago. We first started chatting casually and going on outings. He was a good guy and possessed all the characteristics that I ever wanted in a man. He was an engineer in one of the private firms. We were happy for the first 12 months. We shared a lot of things, except his secret. I was in love with him, and I confessed my interest towards him. He asked me to wait, and that’s how our awkward dinner ended.

We were indulged in love for the last 2 and half years. He introduced me to his parents as his best friend and I did the same. Isn’t it funny and sad when you know someone is your better half but because of your orientation you couldn’t tell your parents that he is the one you want marry. Wait, marriage? Informing parents? It’s an alien term for Christ sake.

He was living with his parents and I was still studying at the time. He would come and stay with me at my hostel. We had many intimate moments together. Saturdays and Sundays were always the best days of my life. It wasn’t just about sex but the acceptance and the feeling of having someone important in your life taking care of you. The way he caresses my hair and he kisses my forehead, I wish the time would just freeze. How do you feel when your partner leaves you every Sunday and you have to wait for the week to be over just to get together with him, and just because of society’s perception and stigma you can only hold hands within the lock of four walls but in public you are just his “friend” and nothing more? I’m really jealous of straight couples; at least they have freedom, freedom to love. 

Yeah, we couldn’t possibly get married legally; we can only be closeted gay couples. But, it was as usual, until 2 months ago. I was sick. I went to see my therapist and he got my screening done. Normal prescription was given and I felt weak and in worse conditions even after 2 weeks of medication. The doctor asked me to wait for my test report and then he told me I have been diagnosed with HIV. I’m going to die soon.

I called Jay and…I kept quiet. I couldn’t talk. I wiped my eyes without realizing that my face was drenched with tears. I ended the call without saying anything but I heard him say “Hey, Ram, say something, why you are quiet?” My life was too quiet for words. 2 days after knowing my status, I received a call from Jay’s parents. I was in my room with closed curtains so there’s no way for light to penetrate in, as if the sun light will kill me instantaneously. “Hello, Ram? Jay got in an accident on his way back from work. Could you come?” was the single line from a trembled voice. 

Before the crash, Jay received a text message from me. “Jay, I’m HIV POZ”. The last word I heard from him was sorry as he begged for my forgiveness. It’s a miracle to get Mr.Perfect in a gay relationship despite all the stigma, and it’s hard to get a loyal one. Jay left me with the stain of his memory that kills every part of my cells with every tick of a minute. 

Hope and faith is the two poles that I cling to while counting my days and waiting to see him again, at least in different dimension. If only people had given us the chance to live the life we wanted, Jay wouldn’t have died and I wouldn’t have to spend the rest of my life alone with sickness. We are not sex symbols, we are not selling ourselves for pleasure and we are not topics of entertainment. We are human; just like you, if only you had given us the opportunity, but instead I live a stranded life, in the middle of the metropolitan, with his love and memory! 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Da Ma Cai Chinese New Year Charity Program

Words & Photographs by Manis Chen

Baru-baru ini saya berpeluang menyertai majlis penyerahan sumbangan kewangan dari pihak Pan Malaysian Pools Sdn Bhd. Majlis bertemakan “Da Ma Cai Chinese New Year Festival Charity Program” telah diadakan di Jalan Utara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.  

Lebih 30 buah badan bukan kerajaan, rumah perlindungan dan persatuan di sekitar Selangor, Pahang dan Wilayah Persekutuan telah dijemput menghadiri majlis ini. PT Foundation adalah satu-satunya NGO yang tidak melibatkan diri dalam aktiviti penyediaan rumah perlindungan atau penjagaan kanak-kanak kurang upaya. Keprihatinan pihak penderma terhadap aktiviti yang dilakukan oleh NGO-NGO ini adalah amat mengharukan kerana kebanyakan mereka bukanlah nama-nama besar dalam bidang yang mereka lakukan dan amat mengharapakan bantuan dari sektor korporat. Dari pemerhatian saya juga, NGO-NGO ini lebih bersifat tempatan, memberi khidmat kepada masyarakat setempat. 

Pertunjukan Tarian Singa

Para tetamu majlis telah dihiburkan dengan pertunjukan tarian singa, persembahan berkumpulan dari kanak-kanak spastik dan juga tiupan seruling oleh beberapa individu semasa acara berlangsung dan ketika makan tengahari dihidangkan. Hidangan yang disediakan adalah bertemakan makanan masakan cina.

Persembahan oleh kanak-kanak spastik

Setiap tetamu juga diberikan beg cenderamata yang berisi dua biji limau mandarin, air kotak dan sebotol air mineral. Selain itu, para tetamu juga mendapat ang pow dan ang pow berbentuk mata wang syiling cina kuno yang dibuat dari coklat.

Mengambil beg cenderamata dari Dewa Kekayaan

Saya berasa amat bertuah kerana dapat menyertai majlis ini dan amat berterima kasih kepada Pan Malaysian Pools Sdn Bhd atas jemputan dan sumbangan mereka kepada PT Foundation. 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Note of Appreciation for CHCC

We received an appreciation note from one of our clients who came to the Community Health Care Center at PT Foundation for testing last semester. Thank you for your kind words, which I am posting part of it here:

The Community Health Care Center of PT Foundation.

I met with the most caring and sensitive personnel who promptly saw me and performed the tests in a very safe and private environment. I was very moved by the very reassuring and caring counsellor who took time to speak to me and explained in great detail about my condition and what options there were for me. A letter of reference was issued unconditionally for me to receive treatment at the SBH. I am very grateful to XXX who offered to drive me there for my first consultation and stayed with me right through. I felt understood, cared for and loved regardless of my condition. I have been on medication for three months now and I am now mentally stronger and I am focused on getting even better by living a healthy lifestyle. Thank you PTF!

From LifeLover KL,
4 Feb 2015

So Long But Not Goodbye

Words & Photographs by Sivalila Balakrishnan

On the 30th of January 2015, PT Foundation bid so long (but not goodbye) to one of the members of the PT family, Sivalila, affectionately known as Leela. This is a short perspective on her time here at PT Foundation. 

Sivalila Balakrishnan

I joined PT Foundation in January 2012. It was my luck that I was chosen and was appointed to work at PT Foundation. This was my first time working in an NGO, as I was working in a corporate line before joining PT Foundation.

On my first day at work, I was given a short briefing by Raymond (who was the Acting Executive Director at the time) for PT Foundation. Raymond introduced himself, and I said, "Nice to meet you sir." and the first thing he told me was, "Please don't call me Sir or boss, just call me Raymond." I was so inspired and shocked, because throughout my working life in corporate, I was so used to addressing my bosses as Sir or boss or MR.XXX. 

The PT Family

I always look down on myself because of my appearance, and at the same time, how people look down at me, thinking that I can't excel due to my personality. I never used to smile at people because I keep thinking that they are looking at me with scrutiny, there was always a feeling that people just don't like the way I am. But after joining PT, I finally feel like I am being myself, being SIVALILA BALAKRISHNAN.

Celebrating my birthday at PT Foundation

 I joined the volunteer team with Jeremy and that was first time I ever challenged myself to face people and talk to people. I got positive feedback. Ever since then, I began to smile and easily mingle with people that easily. My friends and family were shocked to see my changes and they were so happy to see me happy and smiling always.

The IHP team

I would like to thank PT Foundation for accepting me and giving me the chance to work closer with the community. Its not the end of my journey here, I will still volunteer and will always extend great support to PT Foundation.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Back To School Program Volunteer's Briefing

Words by Supreet Kaur Maniktala
Photographs by Sheril A. Bustaman

Yesterday evening, we had an orientation for the Back to School program. Although we expected about 8 volunteers, we were delightfully surprised to see 14 volunteers attend our session! In combination with our previous orientations, we now have nearly 30 volunteers who serve as tutors and role models for our children and caregivers. We would like to thank “Do Something Good” and SOLS 24/7 for helping to bring these tutors. 

Volunteers introducing themselves

Just to provide some background information, the Back to School Program supports children and their caregivers who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Most children have lost a parent to AIDs or come from broken families. With caregivers dealing with poverty (especially single mothers), HIV stigma, loneliness, shame, and anger, children live in stressful environments which hinders their emotional and psychological development. Simply put, they are neglected even by well-intentioned parents and other loved ones.  Our Back to School Program applies a multidimensional approach, aiming to addressing all these issues. The educational component is extremely important since children affected or infected by HIV on average have poorer academic performance in comparison to their peers. 

This is where the need for tutors come in. We provide tutoring almost every Sunday and educational activities during our monthly Saturday events.  Since the introduction of the tuition program, we have grown to about 30 students at the weekly Sunday tuitions, with 10 tutors, which is fantastic! However, our goal is to get 1 tutor for each child so that these children can receive the individualized attention that is desperately needed. For this reason, we had another orientation yesterday for new batch of volunteers. It covered the following topics:

PT Foundation and Its History
HIV 101 and Myths
Clients of Back to School Program and Difficulties they face
Volunteer Expectations
Educational materials that may help volunteers during their tutoring sessions

Explaining what we aim to achieve

Even though all of these topics were important, my favorite part of the orientation was getting to know the clients during the introduction and energizer. Each individual in the group had unique experiences to offer and differing backgrounds, including journalists, lawyers, branch managers, students, etc. For the energizer, we created a circle with one person standing in the middle. He or she would have to make a statement about themselves, and if the statement was true for others, they would also have to move into a different spot of the circle. The person in the middle would also attempt to find a spot in the circle. The last person without a spot had to stand in the center. Similar to the previous round, he/she would be required to make a statement about themselves and everyone would move. As a result of this fun energizer, we bonded and discovered interesting facts about each other. For example, some of our volunteers have done bungy-jumping, and only one person in our group has a cat. 

The icebreaker!

Despite the differences in age, professions, interests, and ethnicities, we all had one thing in common: we valued taking time from our busy lives to give back to community. We also discussed expectations of volunteers and of PT Foundation to ensure that we all worked cohesively as a team. Being in the presence of these passionate people was extremely inspiring. I am excited to see how their loving spirits will influence the lives of our caregivers and children! 

Monday, 26 January 2015

Introducing Dee!

Words by Dee
Pictures by Dee & Sheril A. Bustaman

Last week I had the pleasure of starting at PT Foundation as their new COO. I am delighted and excited to be here and support the work this amazing organisation has achieved over the last 20 years and more.

They organised an afternoon tea  for me to meet the staff so we could share our stories and get to know each other.  How lucky we are to have such great, well informed, empathetic and articulate staff.

Getting to Know The Staff

I am married to a Malaysian  and we have 2 daughters.  Malaysia has been my home  for many years and I have worked in the UK, Australia and Malaysia both as a dietitian and in the NGO sector. My recent position was in Australia as CEO of Huntington's WA, an organisation for those with the rare disorder known as Huntington's Disease. I am also just completing my Masters in Human Rights.

Dee, PT Foundation's new COO. 

I look forward to getting to know the community and enhancing the work of PT Foundation. 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

PT Foundation Wants To #LetMarkKnow

In collaboration with Youths Today, PT Foundation would like to invite Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to Malaysia to meet 10,000 Asian Leaders and also to promote HIV/AIDS awareness. In order to do this, the team at PT Foundation need your help.

Bring Mark to Malaysia! (picture from Google)

Follow the steps below to help spread the awareness of HIV/AIDS and also help invite Mark to Malaysia!

Step 1:
Select a HIV/AIDs fact from the list available here.

Step 2: 
Ask your boyfriend/girlfriend/neighbour/uncle selling pisang goreng in front of your house to help you take a video. It can be with your phone, or if you’re even more canggih, a digital camera.

Step 3:
In said video, say the following: 

“Hi, I’m (insert name here) and I would like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to know that (insert fact here. Ex: HIV/AIDS cannot be passed on through sweat.) I nominate (insert three names here) on behalf of PT Foundation to help me invite Mark to Malaysia to meet 10,000 Asian Leaders and also to Let Mark Know.”


(Here's a sample to inspire you!) 

Step 4:
Upload the video on Facebook (be sure to make it Public!), inviting Mark Zuckerberg to go to this link: http://www.youthstoday.com/markz/youthjam

Don’t forget to tag your 3 people, and also include the hashtags #markzuckerberg, #youthjammarkz #LetMarkKnow.

At the end of this step, it should look something like this: 



Step 5:
Go here

Scroll to the bottom where you will see something like this:



Select the option that says “Yes, I am an individual” and fill out the particulars underneath.

Step 6 (THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE!):

At the column that says Referral: make SURE you select PT Foundation.



Step 7:
Copy paste your Facebook video link into the column given and submit!

Step 8: 
Call/text/whatsapp/Viber/WeChat/SnapChat the 3 people you tagged to make their videos, because you know they won't get started without a little encouragement from you. :)

50 Facts About HIV/AIDS

1. HIV & AIDS are not the same thing. HIV, which stands for “human immunodefiency virus”, is the virus that breaks down the immune system. AIDS, which stands for “acquired immune deficiency system” is the most advanced stage of HIV whereby the immune system is so weak it can no longer fight off a range of diseases with which it would normally cope.

2. HIV/AIDS can be transmitted through infected bodily fluids such as semen, vaginal fluids, blood, breast milk and rectal secretions. 

3. HIV/AIDS can be spread through having sex without a condom.

4. HIV /AIDS can be spread through sharing infected needles.

5. HIV/AIDS is not spread through skin contact such as hugging.

6. HIV/AIDS cannot be spread through kissing.

7. HIV/AIDS cannot be passed on through sharing utensils such as forks, spoons or plates.

8. HIV/AIDS is not an airborne disease.

9. Mosquitoes do not spread HIV/AIDS.

10. HIV/AIDS does not discriminate sexuality. 

11. A person with HIV may not show symptoms for up to 10 years or more, and still can infect others.

12. With treatment, People living with HIV/AIDS are capable of living long and productive lives.

13. HIV/AIDS can be tested at most government and private clinics using a rapid test kit.

14. A HIV/AIDS test result can be revealed within 15-20 minutes.

15. PT Foundation’s Community Healthcare Center (CHCC) provides anonymous screening for HIV/AIDS as well as syphilis. 

16. Younger people are more at risk of getting HIV. In Malaysia, 7 out of 10 persons diagnosed with HIV in 2013 are below 40 years of age. 

17. Sex is the main cause of HIV. In Malaysia, 7 out of 10 new HIV infections are contracted through sex.

18. HIV among women is increasing. In Malaysia, in 2013, only 1 in 10 HIV cases were women; in 2013, 1 in 5 cases are women.

19. HIV is not a death sentence; with treatment, people living with HIV can live normal, healthy lives.

20. There is no cure for HIV but there is treatment, provided it is diagnosed early.

21. You cannot tell if you have HIV; only by taking the HIV Test will you know your status. 

22. 10,000 women were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS as of December 2013 in Malaysia. 

23. Every sexually active Malaysian should take a HIV Test once a year.

24. A person can be infected with HIV/AIDS if a condom is not used, even though birth control methods such as pills or the diaphragm, are used. 

25. You can get HIV/AIDS by having oral sex, but the risk is a lot lower than vaginal or anal sex.

26. A person can have more than one STD at a time. 

27. It is possible to get HIV from tattoo or body piercing tools that are not properly sterilized. 

28. Infected mothers can sharply lower the risk of passing HIV to their children if they are treated in the early stages of pregnancy. 

29. It is possible for women to transmit HIV to men; it is not about who you are, but what you do! 

30. Every day almost 10 Malaysians are infected with HIV.

31. 7 out of 10 Malaysians who were infected with HIV in 2013, contracted it through sex. 

32. A person does not necessarily need to have multiple sexual partners in order to contract a STI or HIV.

33. HIV is treatable - there are over 20 anti-HIV drugs available worldwide.

34. A person who has been on treatment for HIV/AIDS for a year, is less likely to infect another person, than a person whose HIV status is not known.

35. A HIV positive person in a relationship, can still have sex with the partner, so long as a condom is used every time.

36. You cannot get HIV from a fish pedicure, but you can get other skin infections!

37. HIV cannot be passed on through fingering or hand jobs.

38. There is no HIV risk through spitting.

39. Male circumcision can reduce the risk of HIV transmission to the circumcised male during heterosexual sex.

40. HIV/AIDS can be transmitted through both anal and vaginal sex.

41. Injected drug users (IDUs) who share needles face a very high risk of contracting HIV.

42. You can get a HIV Test without revealing your name and IC number. Contact PT Foundation!

43. If you have any questions about sex, gender and sexuality, you can call PT Foundation!

44. If you are concerned about getting HIV, get the facts from PT Foundation!

45. If you would like to know about how to protect yourself from HIV, call PT Foundation!

46. People living with HIV need your support, stop judging them!

47. People living with HIV can contact PT Foundation for support and care.

48. It doesn’t matter if you are straight or gay; if you must have sex, always use a condom for protection.

49. If you drink, don’t have sex. If you are high on drugs, don’t have sex.

50. The “withdrawal” method does not work – use the condom from start to finish.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Pengalaman Pertama: A Perspective Piece by Manis Chen

Words & Photograph by Manis Chen

In November 2014, Manis was referred to a government clinic to receive treatment for some health problems she was facing. Apprehensive of the treatment she would be receiving due to her status as a mak nyah (transgender person), she was pleasantly surprised. The following article is a first-hand account of her experience. 

Manis Chen


Pagi tadi aku ke klinik swasta yang selalu kupergi. Aku menceritakan kepada doktor tentang masalah kesihatanku. Dr Othman merupakan seorang lelaki melayu yang berumur lewat 40an, pada anggaranku. Dia seorang yang peramah, boleh dibawa berbincang dan tidak menunjukkan sebarang rasa kurang senang atau tidak selesa apabila berbual denganku. Ini menyebabkan aku juga menjadi senang untuk terus datang mendapatkan rawatan terhadap apa-apa masalah kesihatan yang aku alami. Dia meminta kebenaran untuk memeriksa kandungan gula dalam darahku kerana aku sememangnya tidak pernah menjalani pemeriksaan kesihatan secara serius.

Setelah jari telunjukku ditembak oleh jarum kecil, doktor memicit kawasan yang ditembak untuk membolehkan darah keluar dari hujung jari yang telah ditembak. Setitik darah itu kemudiannya dicalitkan pada alat bacaan darah yang telah tersedia di atas mejanya.

Dia memberitahuku bacaannya agak tinggi. Dia bertanya dimana aku ingin mendapatkan rawatan selanjutnya. Dia menerangkan komplikasi yang mungkin akan aku alami jika tidak membuat rawatan. Aku memilih untuk meneruskan rawatan di kliniknya. Dia menerangkan yang kosnya mungkin tinggi dan dia tidak mempunyai kelengkapan yang lengkap. Aku agak terkejut dengan kejujuran doktor ini. Rasa hormatnya meningkat terhadapnya. Akhirnya aku mengalah dan meminta dia menyediakan surat rujukan untuk membolehkan aku ke klinik kerajaan seperti yang dicadangkannya.

Aku tiba di klinik kerajaan itu kira-kira setengah jam kemudian. Aku terkejut melihat betapa ramainya orang di dalam klinik berkenaan. Aku tercari-cari kaunter pendaftaran memandangkan itulah kali pertama aku ke situ. Selesai urusan pendaftaran, aku menunggu sebentar untuk diperiksa doktor. Petugas di kaunter pendaftaran memberikan aku nombor giliran bagi rawatan di bilik nombor 3. Sekitar sepuluh minit kemudian aku berjumpa doktor.

Seorang doktor wanita melayu berusia lewat 20an memanggil namaku dan menyuruh aku duduk. Dia bertanyakan apa masalahku. Aku menghulurkan surat rujukan yang kubawa. Dia membaca seketika surat rujukan berkenaan, doktor wanita ini kemudian menyambung dengan beberapa soalan untuk mengetahui tentang masalah kesihatan yang kuhadapi. Kemudian, ketika ingin memeriksa degup nafasku dari arah belakang badan pula, doktor itu dengan sopan menyuruh aku menyelakkan kesemua rambutku ke depan. Selesai pemeriksaan doktor dia menyuruh aku ke kaunter saringan untuk menimbang berat badan dan untuk mendapatkan kiraan BP serta BMI. Doktor juga menyuruh aku ke bilik nombor 5 untuk membuat ECG.

Di kaunter saringan, aku juga mendapat layanan yang mesra sehinggakan petugas wanita yang berjawatan pembantu jururawat itu membahasakan diriku sebagai "kak". Aku tidak menghiraukan panggilannya kerana aku merasakan selayaknyalah aku dipanggil sebegitu memandangkan usia aku jauh lebih tua darinya.

Ketika aku dipanggil masuk ke bilik nombor 5, petugas lelaki itu bertanyakan aku samada aku mahukan staf wanita melakukan proses ECG. Aku terkejut. Tanpa berfikir panjang aku mengatakan aku tidak ada masalah untuk mendapatkan ECG darinya. Dia menyuruh aku membuka rantai leher, gelang tangan dan mengeluarkan duit siling dari poket seluar palazo polka dot purple yang kupakai. Dia memberikan aku satu bakul comel untuk aku menyimpan barangan peribadiku. Dengan nada yang mesra dia menyuruhku untuk memaklumkan kepadanya setelah aku bersedia.

Beberapa minit kemudian seorang staf lelaki lain masuk. Dia menyuruh aku membuka baju. Aku menuruti arahannya. Dia mula mengenakan penyepit di kedua pergelangan tangan dan kakiku. Kemudian dia ingin menyepit di kawasan kiri dada. Dia memohon maaf kepadaku kerana terpaksa menyelak sedikit sport bra yang kupakai. Sekali lagi aku terkejut kerana staf lelaki itu dengan sopan memohon maaf.

Secara jujur, aku sendiri tidak memikirkan aku seorang mak nyah. Aku akan berhadapan dengan situasi bakal diperiksa petugas lelaki. Apa yang bermain difikiranku ketika mengeluarkan kad pengenalan semasa sesi pendaftaran tadi hanyalah aku tidak akan selesa apabila nama betul seperti yang tercatit di kad pengenalanku akan digunakan sepanjang berurusan di klinik ini.

Setelah semuanya selesai, aku mengucapkan terima kasih kepada petugas berkenaan. Aku kembali ke bilik rawatan nombor 3. Doktor memaklumkan aku perlu memulakan rawatan. Dia mengesahkan aku mempunyai kencing manis dan juga darah tinggi. Dia membelek cetakan ECGku dan memaklumkan aku tidak mempunyai masalah jantung kerana bacaannya normal. Tanpa diduga, ketika bertanyakan tentang latar belakang keluargaku seperti ada atau tidak ahli keluarga mengidap penyakit-penyakit kronik, dia juga bertanyakan samada aku selalu memakai kasut bertumit tinggi. Aku secara spontan menyatakan tidak kerana aku tidak akan bertahan memakainya untuk jangkamasa yang lama. Ini membuktikan bahawa doktor wanita itu beranggapan seorang wanita pastinya akan memakai kasut bertumit tinggi.

Kaunter yang terakhir perlu aku tempuhi sebelum boleh balik ialah kaunter farmasi. Aku menekan mesin nombor giliran, mengepil nombor yang keluar pada slip ubat dan menyimpan satu lagi nombor yang sama di tanganku. Aku duduk di salah satu kerusi plastik berwarna biru yang terdapat di depan kaunter berkenaan. 5 minit kemudian nomborku naik di ruang nombor giliran. Aku bangun dan berjalan menuju ke kaunter farmasi. Seorang staf wanita berbangsa cina membaca sekali lagi namaku. Aku merasakan dia terkejut kerana nama yang dibacakannya adalah nama lelaki tetapi yang berdiri didepannya adalah seorang wanita. Beberapa saat berlalu dan dia mungkin telah dapat menerima kenyataan bahawa pesakit yang ingin mendapatkan ubat itu sebenarnya adalah orang yang betul. Dia menerangkan tentang fungsi ubat dan aturan makannya dengan bersahaja selepas itu.

Apa yang dapat aku katakan, pengalaman mendapatkan rawatan di Klinik Kesihatan Gombak Setia itu sungguh menyenangkan walaupun aku adalah seorang mak nyah kerana layanannya tetap sama dengan pesakit lain. Tiada sebarang ungkapan negatif dilemparkan oleh kakitangan kesihatan di situ walaupun ada reaksi tidak percaya dari raut muka petugas bahawa yang berada di depan mereka adalah seorang yang berjantina lelaki. Aku membuat kesimpulan ini kerana mereka memanggil nama seorang lelaki tetapi yang datang/menyahut adalah seorang perempuan. Kepada Dr Intan Shafinaz Ja'apar dan team di KK Gombak Setia, sekalung tahniah dari saya