To a Friend Who Passed Away Unreasonably

Preliminary version : 2003-01-19

Yoichi Oguchi

In January 2000, a friend of mine who has hemophilia and has HIV passed away just before his 39th birthday. He was a victim of HIV infection via blood clotting factor (so called "Drug-induced AIDS"). He did not come out to in public with his infection. Among HIV volunteer-supporters, however, he disclosed his infection. I felt he really encouraged volunteer group of Aichi prefecture.

He passed away keeping not coming out in public, people who were not in contact directly to him do not know his name. I give him a pseudonym "Mr.Kirono" here since plaintiff No.98 of Tokyo HIV lawsuit is too boring.

I am writing this to straighten up our past. Besides I believe that to record truth is the best way to mourn over his death.

You might say he was "murdered" by pharmaceutical companies and Ministry of Health and Welfare. But I believe he would not prefer such a word.

The first time I saw his name in my diary is January 26, 1986. We were member of hemophila association named Kakuyu-kai that has approx.200 families of hemophiliac of mostly Aichi. Some youth of Kakuyu-kai called on the phone each other for planning a New Year party. The late "New year" Party held in February, where I met Mr. Kirino.

Although I don't have accurate record, I remember a friend of mine who has hemophilia introduced me to Mr. Kirino after annual assembly of Kakuyu-kai when they held it in the alumni association building of Medical School of Nagoya University. It was period during 1983 - 1985.

In those days news magazine like Newsweek (US edition) and Japanese scientific magazine reported about AIDS transmission via blood products. Nobody around me cared. At "New year" Party, however, I remember AIDS was talked about.

Those days, I could hear HIV related story such as interferon treatment for HIV got started, and hear a couple whose husband infected HIV divorced.

A phone call from a hemophilic friend who lived in Osaka was a trigger for me to join Tokyo and Osaka people to resist "Anti-AIDS Bill" of 1987. Contrary to its name the bill was to control hemophiliac with HIV and created prejudice/discrimination over hemophiliac with/without HIV. Because of my action, the president of Kakuyu-kai and me came to a rapture. Kakuyu-kai, at this period, was on pharmaceutical companies side and did not distribute information about HIV to its member.

On January 16, 1989, six people including me visited Mr. Kirino's home after a New Year party. A friend took pictures with Kirino, other friends and me. That was the only photograph, I retain, that shows healthy face of Kirino. That time I did not know who had HIV. And I did not know the fact that my blood was tested and revealed negative. (Later he wrote me that his doctor notified him of HIV infection in July 1986)

In April 1993 he wrote to me. In summary:

"When I went on hanami (picnic under cherry blossoms) with my Hemophiliac friends, during conversation I recalled you. Where are we going? I can't see where are Kakuyu-kai and Japan Hemophilia Fraternal Association going? I can't see it since I don't have information"

I came to understand that the letter was to request information.

In reply I wrote:

"What should people with hemophilia do now? In my opinion HIV-infected people have to prioritize prevention treatment against development of AIDS and not-infected people have to support infected people in lawsuit or other social issues. My friend of Oita, Kyushu published a book titled Fuyu No Ginga (Galaxy in Winter) with a story of HIV-infected hemophiliac. If you would like to read it, call me"

After several correspondences come and go, he confessed me that he had HIV.

Since he joined Aichi Hemophilia Society, a small group my friends and I created in 1989, I could send information about HIV including Tokyo HIV lawsuit.

(To be continued)

Copyright(c) 2000-2003, Yoichi OguchiiJapan)

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