Finding a family for Gao Jun

Gao Jun, like Nan Nan, was an orphan born with HIV. When Zhang Ying began helping Gao Jun, his parents were deceased, leaving him to his grandmother's care. In January of 2004, Zhang Ying wanted to take Gao Jun and Nan Nan for a checkup, but Gao Jun's grandmother was mentally unstable; she did not trust Zhang Ying and believed she was going to kidnap him. There was nothing that Zhang Ying could do but periodically check in on Gao Jun and bring the family extra food and clothing. These gestures of care ultimately won over Gao Jun's grandmother, and she later allowed Gao Jun to go with Zhang Ying to the hospital. Soon after, she passed away leaving Zhang Ying with the responsibility of taking care of Gao Jun.

Zhang Ying began looking for a family. By traditional standards the care of an orphan should have fallen to Gao Jun's relatives, his two uncles. But both of his uncles feared the stigma that they would face to take care of a child with HIV/AIDS. One of Gao Jun's uncles had a family and feared that if he took in Gao Jun his children would be stigmatized in school. The other was a bachelor and feared that he will be unable to find a spouse if he cared for a child with AIDS. Finally, Zhang Ying found a family for Gao Jun, but the family life was unstable. Currently Gao Jun lives in the AOS Orphan Center with a support network of AOS staff, caretakers, and children his age.


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