“HIV, a punishment from God,” says Perlis doctor before being crucified online
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“Inaccurate and unnecessary” was the opinion expressed by Internet users when they reported a local medical assistant in Perlis for posting discriminatory material against HIV-positive patients on TikTok.
Videos circulating online show a man identified as Mohd Izham, allegedly a medical assistant at the Kuala Perlis public health clinic, telling the story of a patient who came for treatment for a venereal disease.
âIt’s either one of the next three things, HIV, syphilis, or gonorrhea, so I ordered a blood test. When the results arrived, they confirmed that Azrul (not the patient’s real name) had HIV. Boho positive, âMohd Izham said in the clip and described how more than shocked the patient was upon receiving the news.
In addition to explaining in detail the condition of his patient’s genitals, the assistant made some rather insensitive statements that HIV, or the human immunodeficiency virus, was created by God to punish adultery.
âWhy Did God Create HIV? It’s to punish adulterers and immoral people. God made no cure for HIV boh, âhe said, preaching people to stop sinning.
The assistant then described how safe sex practices, such as wearing condoms, had no effect in preventing someone from contracting HIV if God willed.
It is not just you who will be ashamed, your parents and family will be embarrassed.
Mohd Izham via TikTok / Twitter
Nasihat aku, kalau memang dah ada simptom sebarang penyakit kelamin, pegi cepat jumpa doktor.
Dan kalau boleh, pass sikit duit, pegi buat test STD kat private laboratory. A few hours (2 jam ke 1/2 hari biasanya) result akan dpt. pic.twitter.com/hfHvRJhzPn
– Indra (@ardnie) September 28, 2021
Mohd Izham’s TikTok account he posted the video to has apparently now been disabled.
Clearly, the video drew criticism from Malaysians online who said the information provided by the doctor was both inaccurate and biased towards HIV-positive patients.
Video Sebuah TikTok yang telah dirakamkan oleh seorang pekerja kesihatan (health worker) di utara Malaysia telah menyebarkan maklumat yang tidak tepat dan menambahkan stigma dan diskriminasi terhadap orang yang hidup dengan HIV.
– Malaysian AIDS Council (@myAIDScouncil) September 29, 2021
First, let’s lay out the facts
HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, making a person more susceptible to other diseases.
There is currently no effective cure for the virus and once a person is infected they have it for life, and the only sure way to know if a person has it is to get tested.
HIV can be transmitted to other people through the exchange of bodily fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and even breast milk. HIV-positive mothers can also pass the virus to their children during pregnancy and childbirth.
There are three stages of HIV: acute, chronic and the final stage known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS.
However, with proper and immediate medical care, HIV can be controlled to prevent a person from developing AIDS and to help people live long and healthy lives.
With the right treatment, an HIV-positive patient can suppress the virus enough that they themselves are not transmissive to pass the virus on to others.
Of course, they say prevention is always better than a cure, so people are advised to adopt practices such as safe sex, among others.
Victims of sexual assault are also advised to seek medical attention immediately, and there are medications like post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) that a person can take to avoid contracting HIV after recent exposure to the virus.
Overall, like most earthly diseases inflicted on mankind, HIV is not a death sentence.
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