THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

The typical scenario...

Day by day, my NGO is getting more and more PLWHA clients under our care, mostly referred to us by the HIV clinic at Ipoh GH. Although different buddies are assigned different PLWHAs, we (the volunteers) do have meetings to discuss the problems faced by our clients. However, we can’t afford to discuss the problems of all the PLWHAs in one meeting as we have over 100 of them.

As such we divide ourselves into a few care-groups, and each group will meet separately to discuss the problems of the PLWHAs who are under the care of the respective group members.

My group had our meeting last night. I noticed certain similarities between some of my own clients and those of my fellow volunteers.

Typical scenario 1…

Husband an injecting drug user… shared needles…

Then husband starts getting various kinds of diseases… goes for check-up… finds out he has AIDS. Innocent wife asked to go for blood test as well… and finds out that she too has been infected with HIV.

By the time they find out, husband’s CD4 is already very low… already infected with opportunistic diseases… TB, hepatitis…

Husband now already very weak… too weak to work… wife becomes family’s sole breadwinner… working very hard to make ends meet… but they still don’t get enough to cover monthly household expenses. If renting, then land-lord already on the verge of chasing them out of the house… children’s school fees not paid… the ones in secondary school always get scolding from their teachers resulting in the children not wanting to go school unless and until their fees can be paid (I don’t know why but somehow the ones in primary school aren’t that badly affected when they don’t pay their fees).

Typical scenario 2…

Same as scenario 1 but husband has passed away.

Typical scenario 3…

First line same as scenario 1, and then the couple gets divorced without even knowing the husband has HIV.

Both remarry without knowing they have been infected, and the wife only finds out when she gets pregnant through her second marriage. Tries to tell ex-husband so that he can avoid passing the virus to his new wife and possible future children but that good-for-nothing guy denies it came from him and refuses to go for blood test.

And so the virus gets passed on and on and on…

4 comments:

U.Lee said...

Hello Pi Bani,
Terimah kaseh for your reply. Address noted. Will contact you via given email addr. asap.
You're a wonderful lady. I really admire you and what you are doing.
Best regards, UL.

Pi Bani said...

No problem Uncle Lee! Am always eager to respond to any queries on the voluntary work I'm doing. At least it shows that my attempt to make more people aware of the problems faced by HIV infected persons has not gone unnoticed. Thanks for the encouraging words.

Apandi said...

Under scenario 3, I don't suppose that there are any legal instrument that can be used to make the husband go for blood test ?

Take care.

Pi Bani said...

Now certain states have implemented mandatory testing for those who want to get married. Only problem with mandatory testing is that it doesn't come with pre and post test counselling which is a very important element to any testing.

Anyway, for those who are already married, if one of them has been tested positive, then the partner will be asked to come for blood test as well. However, if the partner buat bodoh and simply refuses to go for tests, there's nothing much we can do. Kalau dah EX-husband tu lagi payah lah...