HIV/AIDS & Mental Health – Perspectives of a Medical Doctor - Part 2

I am reminded of a young couple whom I met in my course of my duties as a medical doctor at the Gede Foundation. They had recently gotten married then about two years when they were both diagnosed as being HIV positive. The husband was in denial, rejected the diagnosis and took to drinking huge amounts of alcohol as a way of expressing his frustrations. His abuse of alcohol was so profound that as early as 8am when he comes for his doctor’s appointment one can perceive the stench of alcohol. He subsequently became aggressive at home which manifested in wife battery, as well as refusal to start antiretroviral medication despite laboratory results that showed they would be key to prolonging his life. These series of events gave both himself and his wife a poor outcome to management of the HIV infection, thus his HIV/AIDS condition (which is treatable) has been complicated by the man’s poor mental health and given him and his wife a poor prognosis. The poor mental health of the man changed what can be said to be a simple situation to a complicated one both for them as the clients and for me as the care provider. Please join me in my next blog for the outcome of this story. Dr. Michael Ameh can be reached on