I was at home on Monday when SN called to ask if any of our volunteers could speak Mandarin as there was a Mandarin-speaking female PLHIV needing help. I couldn’t give my answer straight away because while we do have a few female Chinese volunteers, some of them don’t know Mandarin. Me? I only know Mandarin oranges…
So I texted a few of my Chinese volunteers and finally one of them reverted back to me saying that she’s able to help out. So I immediately gave her the name and phone number of the said PLHIV.
Actually this wasn’t a new case. She had been going for appointments at the Ipoh ID clinic since 2003, although maybe her case was never referred to us as her appointments were probably during the weeks when our volunteers weren’t around. Despite being diagnosed for more than 7 years now, according to SN, she still seemed depressed. Which was why the doctor suggested that SN got hold of us Buddies and find out if we have any Mandarin speaking volunteers to talk to her.
The volunteer said she’d call by this week, but I have yet to get any feedback.
Today I was on clinic duty. There was only 1 new case referred. Lai, a 20 year old girl, found out about her HIV after she donated blood during a blood donation drive near her place late last year. It was her first time donating blood. Staying with her family, Lai said none of her family members are aware of her HIV.
Me: Habis, you datang hospital ni family tak tanya ka pasal apa?
Lai: Tak, dia orang ingat saya keluar pergi pekan saja.
Me: Tak mau bagitau ka?
Lai: Tak payah lar. Saya dengan family tak ngam. Selalu kalau adik buat salah pun saya juga kena marah. Kalau tau saya ada ini sakit, nanti lagi bising lor.
Me: Habis, ada tak orang lain yang tau you ada HIV?
Lai: Saya punya kakak angkat. Boyfriend saya pun tau.
Me: Boyfriend sudah test?
Lai: Sudah, dia negatif.
Me: Dia okay tak? Bagi you support?
Lai: Dia okay. Sekarang apa2 pun saya cakap sama dia sajalah.
For the moment it looks as though she’ll never tell her family. It was our first meet but yet she openly admitted she doesn’t get along with her family at all. Although she still stays with them, she feels as though they don’t love her, always blaming her for anything. Which is why most of the time she prefers to go out.
Not wanting to be too dependent on her parents, she has got herself a job, as an assistant at a kindergarten. Frankly, I think it is a matter of time before she decides to move out and stay on her own, or with her boyfriend…