During my last 2 clinic duties at HRPB, Ipoh, I ended up not seeing any new cases. The earlier one there were no new cases because the specialist was on leave. The last one, there was supposed to be one new case, but the patient didn’t turn up.
Today, I was on clinic duty again. This time all new cases, 4 of them, turned up. All males.
The first case was referred about half an hour after I came. A guy on a wheelchair was helped into the room by a lady, whom I first thought was his wife. Turned out the lady was his sister. Usually by the time cases are referred to us, the patients sent to us would have already known their HIV status. But for this particular case, either he didn’t understand what was told to him by the counselling nurse earlier on, or he was in denial. He and his wife was involved in a road accident, and both were hospitalised. He then had a blood transfusion, and now claims that there was a mix-up. “Ini darah sudah masuk saya punya badan bukan saya punya darah la puan…”
Unsure if he really understood the situation, I decided to ask them to wait while I went to see the nurse to find out more. Apparently he was tested positive before the blood transfusion was done, but was not told about it because they needed to do a second test to confirm it. However, the blood transfusion couldn’t wait as it was an emergency. But the nurse at the HIV clinic did explain to him about the first test result and that they needed to wait for the confirmation of his second test results.
I went back to see this guy, frankly I think he did understand but he was still in denial. He kept insisting it was all due to the blood transfusion he had. I didn’t want to pressure him, so I told him the doctor whom he’d be seeing later would be explaining everything to him.
The next case referred was a jobless guy. Married, 2 kids, but had been jobless for more than 2 years. Already on HAART since 2006, he is now physically well enough to work. The doctor had asked me earlier if I could help find him a job. I don’t know, I’ve seen so many cases whereby the client would come up with all sorts of excuses why they are still not working. But I still assigned a Chinese-speaking buddy to this guy (I had a tough time communicating with him in Malay), hopefully something can be arranged for this guy.
The 3rd case referred, another one I had problem communicating with. His BM was very poor, and although he used to work in England before, his English was even worse. When I asked, “You sudah berapa lama tau you ada sakit ni?”, he replied, “Ya, ya… saya tau!” Aduh…
Thank goodness the 4th case referred, although a non-Malay, at least he could speak and understand BM a whole lot better. He got himself a job in Singapore, went there, had his medical check-up done, was found to be HIV+, and so had to choice but to come back to Ipoh. So far no problem with this guy. His CD4 is close to 500, I assume he won’t be starting on HAART yet.
So, out of the 4 cases referred today, only one was assigned a buddy. The rest, while they don’t want any buddies for the time being, I still gave them our brochure should they need to call us later.