On 21 July 2018, I went for my second volunteering to Afa (Action for AIDS) and there, I had an HIV testing training. The organization separates the testing process into; registration, pre-counseling, testing and post-counseling. Since I’ve already done the training for the reception, I attended the training for the testing stage; where one volunteer takes the blood from the patient and another tests the blood sample by using chemicals. What I’ve learned from this training is how Afa tries its best to make the patient feel comfortable by going over the safety and medical procedures. I saw many volunteers reassuring them that the tools used are one-time use only and there is no way of cross-contaminating the patient, given that HIV is an illness that can be transmitted through needles. Furthermore, the patient comes into the testing room feeling safe and comfortable thanks to the pre-counseling session. Despite its anonymity, I realized how the organization places a significance in knowing the patient not to make any medical errors because the majority of the volunteers are not medical professionals.
The training session on the 21st informed me how Afa is able to extend its connections to various communities. Perhaps, this is the way in which Afa sells itself so that its reputation will travel mouth to mouth and ultimately raises awareness of HIV/AIDS. It implies the roots of its success as an NGO in Singapore in terms of its relationship between local communities as well as the government. Its well-established logistics, safety and medical measures increase their legitimacy and can reach out to diverse communities for its consideration towards its patients.
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