Two teenage boys in Hong Kong are believed to have contracted AIDS from a family domestic helper, according to an article written by television artist Lai Chi-san (Maria Luisa Leitao) this week.
The article raised concern among many Hong Kong parents, but it was also criticized by many netizens, as Lai did not provide enough evidence to prove the case.
In a Sky Post column that has gone viral, Lai wrote that she had been told by a friend — who got the information from someone else — that two brothers aged 13 and 14 tested positive for AIDS after having sexual relations with their domestic helper.
The story came to light after the maid, said to be a Filipino, was diagnosed with AIDS, according to Lai.
Hong Kong artist Wong Hei said on Facebook Lai could have had a malicious intention in posting that article, which used information “heard from friends”.
“Did Ms. Lai want to demonize domestic helpers? Why did she write that in a newspaper?” Wong said.
He said that even if the case is real, Lai should not have disclosed it in the newspaper, as it would have a bad psychological effect on the two teenagers she mentioned.
Lai’s article said the unnamed employers — a family of four — decided to take tests to make sure that they were safe after learning about their helper’s AIDS infection.
But to their horror, the parents found the tests on their two sons proved positive.
Upon questioning, it was discovered that both the boys had sex with the maid, which resulted in them getting infected with the AIDS virus.
Although the case has not been confirmed, some Hong Kong newspapers quoted comments by various people saying employers should take preventive measures.
Gary Tang Leung-shun, a supervisor at the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, said teenagers could get confused and develop an improper affection for their domestic helpers.
Parents should advise teenage children to keep a proper distance from the opposite sex, while domestic helpers should also take care not to be overly close to their young wards, Tang said.
Au-yeung Hau-keung, a social worker with the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong, said parents should impart sex education to their children and warn them not to let others touch them inappropriately.
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