Our society has always been used to the normal HIV testing kits(needle plus the kit itself). Many at times I have talked to my friends about if they really know their status. A good number of them pose a positive response. The remaining number always have this notion of “Kila saa waenda kupima nawe? Pimapima tu utapata unachotafuta, As long as najijua”
On Saturday afternoon, I met three of them. After a normal conversation about our whereabouts, I decided to ask them if at all they have heard about the OraQuick HIV test. None had an idea. And so I had to start the topic. It is a home-based testing. Before I even made the second statement, they started asking questions. How does it work? What is the acceptability percentage? Has it been approved by the Ministry of health already? What is the ongoing concern about the test? What is the accuracy?
Despite that, I had to explain to them. Oraquick is an oral swab test kit. A person rubs on the upper and lower gums. The swab kit is used to test for HIV antibodies in the saliva. My girls will never allow you to finish your statements before interrupting. I did not finish to answer the questions. One asked if at all she does the test and the results turn out negative, whether she supposed to go to the hospital for a confirmation. Interestingly, Most of them told me that positive results will never allow anyone to access confirmatory testing. In this sense, positive means results showing negative status.
As were strolled down the streets, one came up with this “imagine it does not require any of my blood for testing, it is not painful, the privacy of that high standards, so comfortable”. Naliaka came up with the idea of us passing through a hospital facility. And so we did. Sitting on the bench at the hospital, there came a moment of silence. No one was totally talking to each other. Perhaps everyone was meditating to a self-Anacin god who would provide us with panadol to take the moment” headache away. It was Nafula”s time to enter the room we thought was for pre-counseling. Time passed and everyone was tested. Why did it turn positive for the three of us? .The rate at which silence surrounded us was wanting. My girls do not ever conceal anything among ourselves. The normal test was to be conducted to do a confirmation of the first results. We waited and the results were out. Phew! They came out differently. You can picture out the mood afterward.
“Such things can cause people cardiac arrests, let us stick to our good old ways of testing. I have just resurrected my friends. Old is gold!”
Potential benefits and concerns remained our major topic of discussion. Among the potential benefits were the issue of confidentiality. Mary who got the good results with the new kit said that she will stick to that because a good percentage of medical practitioners do not really abide by their medical ethos and ethics. The three of us decided to live and stick to the old ways. We parted ways na kila mtu akachukua njia zake heading home. What a day!