No friends, few drugs and little expertise for AIDS patients

The manner in which 14-year-old Mahmoud (not his real name) caught the HIV/AIDS virus was unusual - but the subsequent reaction of Palestinian society was all too predictable. “I got it from a blood transfusion when I was 12. Now, no one talks me. My friends all left me when they knew that I’m AIDS patient. I feel I’m alone in this world. They are afraid to get infected from me, as I was infected, but it is not my fault that I have AIDS now,” said the youngster from the West Bank. “I’ll never finish college. I’ll never have a family like the others. I will never have babies. I also believe that it will not be long before I leave this world,” he added.