Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hospital in Malaysia

I am writing this not because I want to complain neither am I condemning the hospital, I am writing this because I feel so discriminated by the treatment by the nurses and the doctors at University Hospital.

I am HIV positive. I was admitted to the hospital due to stomach pain. I was sent to Univesity Hospital by ambulance because the hospital I went to earlier (private hospital) didn’t have any available beds, so the nurses suggested that I be sent to University Hospital instead. I reached the hospital around 5 pm and was placed in the emergency ward for close to 7-8 hours. I was left there waiting for my blood to be taken and also for an x-ray to identify if I had a serious abdominal condition which might require surgery.

While I was waiting for my blood to be taken, I heard the nurses giving remarks about my condition as a HIV patient. Needless to say, the nurses assumed that my disorientation due to injecting me with painkillers made it OK to make snide comments about my condition, right in front of me. Probably they thought that if I was 'high' enough, my understanding of the Malay language would go down the drain.

The doctor only attended to me around 10pm. What upset me the most is that when she came to examine me, she only asked about my history of as a HIV patient. All her questions were not relevant to my condition at that moment. Her questions were: How did i get HIV? Do I have multiple sex partners? Do I take drugs? Are these questions necessary to determine the cause of my abdominal pain? Those questions took me off guard because I was thinking, "Where’s the relevance between my predicament and my stomach pain?" Secondly, knowing that I have this disease has already affected my life, in addition to feeling discriminated and judged in their eyes is enough to tear me apart. First of all I have no idea how I got infected with HIV, I have never injected myself with drugs, neither have I had multiple sexual partners nor blood transfusions. I don’t want to think about how, when, and what because I have passed through that stage to moved forward with my life.

As a professional medical officer, I believe any discrimination towards HIV patients should NOT EXIST because we are as human as anyone else and they should be extra sensitive over this matter instead of being judgemental towards people with conditions like mine.

I believe as a country that has grown tremendously in many ways, stigma towards HIV should be minimised due to numerous awareness programmes that our government has implemented. We should be given equal rights especially when we are in need.

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