Stella Dimoko Emergency Room Series: Dont Discriminate.....


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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Emergency Room Series: Dont Discriminate.....

Oh Dear!!!.....

I would like to maintain the fact that this series is strictly anonymous. The name, age, and other bio data of each patient's case discussed is kept highly confidential. 

 This series mainly involves the writer sharing experiences and stories in the ER for the readers to learn a few things from and I'm glad a lot of people are positive and doing just that. I would try not to use medical terms so that everyone would understand

The ER today was unusually calm and we had few cases to handle. A man in his forties was brought in today. He was accompanied by a lady who we later learnt was his wife. She claimed he felt very dizzy at home and fell and that was all she knew.

 On physical assessment, he looked pale and lethargic. He looked like he had lost some weight and his eyes were yellow. His skin was dry and slightly wrinkled and his lips were cracked and he was extremely weak. He was coughing a lot too. We took it as a severe dehydration case and queried tuberculosis.

We tried to get a history from the wife but she didn't know much. She later said he had been stooling for two days and she had gotten him some drugs from the local pharmacy but that didn't work. 

We set up an IV access and put up fluids to rehydrate him. We also took blood samples for electrolyte test as well as for several other tests. His bp was low and his breathing and pulse were quite high. After an hour, he gradually came around. The doctor on call asked him how it all started and the first thing he did was to tell his wife to get him a soft drink. We told him that he isn't allowed to drink anything so he said she should get him tissue paper. I told him we had some if he needs. He then asked her to get their holy water at home, then it became obvious to me that he wasn't comfortable around her so I asked her to excuse us which she did.

He also asked me to leave but the doctor insisted that a nurse had to be with him and that nurses take their own history from patients in the ER for their own record. He reluctantly told the doctor that he had HIV and was diagnosed 6 years ago. 

He said he has been on anti-retroviral drugs but stopped 7 months ago because his private supplier travelled. "Well, that explains some of the symptoms" I thought to myself. He said he had been stooling for about a week and only told his wife two days ago because he got very weak and couldn't go to work.

The doctor asked him the names of the anti-retroviral drugs he uses so we could supply them because we wanted him to use the drugs his body was accustomed to but he didn't know them all so he was asked to tell his wife to get the empty bottles at home. He kept quiet. 

I asked if the wife was aware of his status, he said no. I was shocked. 

He said he met her about X years ago and got married shortly after but didn't disclose his status and has been using his drugs. He claimed she wouldn't have married him if she knew. My guess is that she also hasn't been pregnant because she would have found out during routine antenatal screening tests.

Well its not our duty as a nurse or doctor to disclose such information to the wife unless he approves. We made him know that he's killing the woman slowly while he treats himself. He simply looked away. He talked about how the wife talks negatively about a certain person they know who has HIV. He said it discouraged him from telling her while they were courting.

 I asked if he ran pre-wedding tests ( those tests to know if couples blood groups are compatible which includes HIV test) he said no.. I wasn't feeling concerned for him anymore but for the innocent wife who didn't know what was going on

Although I understand that HIV is a topic people dread to talk about in this part of the world. I just want you all to know that it doesn't kill. I repeat, HIV doesn't kill. The fear is what kills. The discrimination is what kills. The neglect is what kills. 

The discrimination is just so bad that no one wants to open up to having the infection. Its just plain ignorance. HIV is not so easy to contract unless by unprotected contact with blood and seminal fluid. Not by sweat, tears, urine, faeces, or saliva. 

Sometimes I wonder why people with hepatitis which is far more deadly, has no direct drug or cure and is easy to contract feel that its better than having HIV. 

About 130million people live with hepatitis worldwide and I wonder why all the negativity is on HIV victims.
Most people will blame the man for not telling his wife, that he's wicked or maybe he's the devil himself but really, I'm just neutral. I don't blame the wife for discriminating neither do I blame the man for not being sincere in his marriage. 

We need to change our mindset and realise that people living with HIV need love, care, attention and support. HIV simply means the body can't defend it'self effectively against infections and need the help of drugs. Its that simple. They can live normal lives and have children who won't have the infection. 

I really hope the man tells her his status soon enough.
Thanks for reading.


  1. Replies
    1. Lol.. Afi wicked man nor

  2. He needs to come clean with her. Its already a deceitful marriage.

    I hope the lady has not been infected cos she might just poison the man.

  3. may God have mercy on us.

  4. I feel for the man,but it's always good to let the woman know. Not fair on her, she deserves to know.

  5. My dear, you won't understand what actually kills until u test positive. I had a positive friend too, she lived in denial till she she passed on her previous bf died of aids, her current boyfriend who impregnated her before she passed is still looking great, very handsome guy, I dunno if he's +ve or not o, but damn, he's looking good.

  6. I know a man who had the virus since 1991,it was not until the wife died sometime in 2000 or so that it was discovered she died of Hiv. So he was taking anti retroviral drugs but kept it a secret from the wife so she wasn't protected. I Wonder how his kids feel towards him if I feel this bitter. It is well

  7. But you are ethically able to disclose if he doesn't tell her as it's a life threatening risk

    1. No,ethically the nurse is not able to disclose and not even the doctor can. It could put the hospital in trouble. Things are indeed happening. So sad

    2. Men are so wicked sha. Just what killed my Anuty too. Her useless husband refused to tell her. It was too late for her. My sweet Anuty we missed u so much. That man make my little cousin orphan.

    3. How do you marry someone without doing tests?

  8. The heart of man is wicked and full of deceit. Pls ensure you do a 'pre dating' test to know you status. The woman's ignorance is what will kill her

  9. He has HIV and refused to tell the wife?! 😱😢😢 wicked soul! If his wife stabs him to death now people will say she's this and that.
    He knew such a thing is something she can't handle why lie and marry her? There are other women that don't see it as anything and will support him yet he lied and kept her in secret!
    There should be a law that states that doctors and nurses has the right to disclose the status of the spouse to the other party in cases like this.
    That is why I personally choose our family doctor myself. There's nothing like "ehhh please can you step outside whilst we discuss with oga or madam in private" nonsense. Any disclosure or discussion is in our "before". Discuss what in private? Sayings like this is a red flag and if I'm in her shoes I won't go anywhere. I have can't shout oh. One can't truly know what another person can do under certain circumstances.
    Please intending couples do tests before tying the knot. Insist on it please. I know it's like putting the cart before the horse after una don sample each other finish but at least you know whatever you ought to know.
    Stella thank you for this new's indeed an eye opener.

    1. But it’s mind-boggling how she agreed to Marry this man without both of them getting tested. Like is it even possible? Do people not care about their lives like that??

      Very wicked man!
      And yes I blame him for doing this to the wife whom I hope hasn’t contracted the deadly virus.

      She wouldn’t of course had married u yea. I mean
      It’s choice not to,or to.
      And some other women would have married u with ur status so what is he yakking about? Cruel thing!

  10. I feel so sorry for the Wife and I don't blame the Man , HIV is a very difficult subject to talk about due to the stigmatization but I still feel he should tell her( or he should have told her before marrying her)so she can go for the test to ascertain her status. It is well

  11. The attitude of the society towards plwha made them to hide their status. I notice my status through antenatal clinics 2005 had my child 2006 ,Just start drugs about 11 months ago,guess what ? I look very ,clean,healthy that you will swear I don't have it but I,have been living with HIV for almost 12yrs & am almost 31yrs

  12. Hiv is real.

    Protect yourself​ !

    Run away from any goat that says He/she is allergic to condom. E no dey show for face.

  13. But how did the wife marry him without all those necessary test?? Those test are quite compulsory in most churches. Or maybe they are Muslims. But either way, she shouldn't have thrown cation to the wind.

    I hope he tells her. She might be infected already if he hasn't had his drugs for months now

  14. Wicked man.
    Please, whether male or female, insist on tests before marriage. No before marriage proposal

  15. I remember having a similar case during internship, he was a hotel manager.....Wife status was later positive too. He kept it a secret all the years and took no ARVs,End stage AIDS!she knew few days before he died she had thought it was spiritual. Sad case.

  16. In Nigeria the laws are not so clear cut on this issue. As a doctor/clinician you shd discuss with your (senior) colleagues and/or lawyer. I believe you should counsel the man to disclose his status to his wife. And give me time to do this. If he still does not, you can then disclose to her. And you can "ethically" defend your action because the wife is "at risk". Actually the wife can institute an action against you in court if you are her doctor and did not tell her.
    Also it is of public health importance. That is the basis of jailing people who go about deliberately infecting others.

  17. A lot of people here in Lagos are living with HIV, married and have refused to disclose to their spouse. The ones i know are women. She keeps having miscarriages and tellin the doc in yoruba "ejo ebo mi lasiri" Only if you know the amount of people living with HIV


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