Done with my back-to-school stuff for the children from various families (well, most of them anyway), today was my first clinic duty for the year. I have already told the 2 volunteers who are supposed to join me for clinic duty, one of them is to join me every 2nd Wednesday of the month, while the other on the 4th Wednesday of the month. But today, the volunteer who was supposed to join me didn’t turn up and didn’t call or SMS me either. I think she was expecting me to remind her every time there’s clinic duty. Sorry lah, I have so many other things to remember, am not about to be her PA and remind her every single time…
The moment I got to the ID clinic today, I asked SN if she had managed to get hold of Jah’s husband. You see, on Monday SN called me up, asking me for the phone number of Jah’s husband. SN had been trying to call Jah’s old number, she never got through. As far as I know, Jah’s old number had not been in use ever since she got married to this guy. I so happened to have the husband’s number because recently just before Jah gave birth, he had been contacting me to seek help for a number of things (if you remember one of my earlier postings, he asked if I could be his kakak angkat), but he stopped contacting me after I told him our financial help was basically more for children education.
Anyway, according to SN, she tried the number I gave, and while the phone rang, nobody answered. After a few times, her calls didn’t get through at all. Probably he was avoiding SN as he knew SN wanted him to go to the hospital to get his wife’s supply of ARV. Ah well…
Today I also got to know about the death of an acquaintance. I had known this guy before through my NGO activities, and for the past few months he had been contacting me via SMS asking about various questions on HIV tests and treatments – where to get tested, what to do once he got the referral letter, how to get an appointment, etc. Apparently he had set an appointment at the ID clinic but he died before the date of his appointment due to some opportunistic diseases. And he’s still so young.
Back to my clinic duty, I had 3 cases referred to me today. The first case was a guy in his 30’s, married, 3 kids (the youngest just a few months old). He used to work as a security guard for some time until one day he was caught as a suspect in a murder case. He had to spend about a year or two in jail before he was finally acquitted. He then went back to work as a security guard at his old work place, but put back on probation. After a few months, at the end of his probationary period, he had to do a medical check-up. It was during this check-up he was found to be HIV+. And when the results of his medical tests were handed over to his manager, he was laid off from work.
Laid off because of HIV? Oh please, he’s only working as a guard, what danger could that cause to customers of the company? He hasn’t been working for a few months now, but according to him, his old boss is helping out to appeal to the management to take him back in, as HIV is not an excuse for him not to do his job well. He is after all, still strong and healthy. According to him, the latest that he heard was that there’s a 90% chance he may get his job back. I hope so too. I gave him our brochure & our number, since he didn’t want a buddy, he said he’d call us when he needs to consult us for anything.
The second case referred today was a young guy in his 20’s, just married last year. He found out about his HIV during his pre-marital mandatory testing. They went ahead with the marriage anyway, and when I asked if his wife’s family okay with his HIV status, he just said yes. It’s his family who aren’t aware of his HIV status.
Later after talking to him, I found out that although he himself is still not on ARV as his CD4 is still relatively quite high, his wife is already on ARV with a CD4 of 200+. Hmmmm… my guess is that during the mandatory testing, they were BOTH tested HIV +, and so of course his wife’s family had no objections whatsoever to their marriage. He too preferred not to be assigned any buddy, so again I just gave him our brochure so he could contact us when needed.
The third case today was another guy in his early 30’s. He seemed calm and very open. Apparently SN had spoken to him before and told him about us Buddies. After seeing him today, I found that he is more suitable as a volunteer rather than a client, and when I asked if he’d be interested to join as a volunteer, he immediately agreed. Good thing I had a membership form in my bag, and so he decided to fill in the form right away.
So although 3 new cases were referred to me today, there were no new clients. Instead, out of the three, we got a new volunteer! Yayyy!! We now have 5 PLHIVs as volunteers!