Admired and appreciated Dr. Bonaventura Clotet,
I address this letter to you as coordinator or director of the HIV Unit at the Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol. Also as the funder or manager of the Fight AIDS Foundation. My name is Manel Iglesias Marí and, for more than 16 years, I have been attending this Unit. I have contributed giving my opinion throught the evaluation system on surveys used in the Unit, but I think it's time to say thank you.
I want to thank the entire team working in the Unit. To those who we see and those who are in IrsiCaixa and we even see or meet. I want to thank the people who greet you at reception, especially Sandra, who seems to have a knack for knowing when you need a hug or two kisses when you face looks sad or you feel rejected.
I want to thank nurses. Because of clinical trials, I have met Jordi and Cristina, but for the last two years two nurses perform my blood tests. They care to remember my name and (I feel guilty) I do not even know theirs. They look for the right place to prick with no pain, no bruises, no hassles. Thanks to the nurses.
Thanks to María José Ferrer who, after 16 years, has made me finally understand that my defense of self-destructiveness was not the right one. She has taught me how to live with my illness, to live, to want to life.
Thanks to Carmina that despite not being my psychologist, was there for me one day without an appointment or previous notice and helped me in every possible way. Thanks to Carla for trying again and again, tirelessly, to encourage me to eat healthy and stop eating any crap.
Thanks to Dr. Díez that, as a psychiatrist, shows the most understanding behaviour I have ever known.
Thanks to the medical team that investigates and works in this disease. Dr. Clotet, committed people who suffer from this disease since its beginings, when almost nobody wanted to know anything about it. Thanks to Dr. Romeu for his reliability, consistency and absolute serenity. Thanks to Dr. Beatriz Mothe, who is amazing combining professional care and humanity in personal dealings. Thanks to the doctors who have treated me in any occasion and whose names I don't even remember. Thanks to the proctologist, who tries to make more comfortable that pretty nasty tests.
Anyway, I am proud to be cared in a hospital Unit where patients haven't virtually noticed health budget cuts because professionals kepp working as much and even more than before although receiving a lot less money.
It hurts to hear complaints sometimes in the waiting room, about waiting 15 minutes more than usual for a medical visit. I think that often it is impossible to attend a patient in the scheduled time. Professional at the Unit try to serve everybody in the most appropriate way, despite its pause for breakfast sometimes.
I also wanted to make a suggestion as a secondary school teacher, which is to continue insisting that the best vaccine against this disease is prevention. It hurts to see that some schools no longer speak of December 1, or just talk about condom as a tool to prevent unwanted pregnancies. We then go back to ancient beliefs such as "when the girl has her menstruation, it is not necessary to use condoms because there is no risk of pregnancy".
I also woud like to pay tribute to people who suffer from this disease. I think that, today, we are the best vaccine to prevent continents like Europe from a pandemic. Most people who suffer from the disease have received the necessary information, we do everything possible to prevent contagion and take medication to keep our viral load undetectable or as low as possible. I think that the work we are doing as people with this disease is very important . Without detracting from the medical or scientific research, from the field of humanities, I can only recognize the efforts of the majority of people suffering from this disease as basic tools in the prevention for the spread of the epidemic.
Arenys de Munt, April 13, 2014.
Manel Iglesias Marí