Testing for HIV in Tanzania
This is the latest blog entry from Ginger, studying in Tanzania this month:
I was in a village this week doing rapid HIV testing when a woman walked past me with a Target snowman t-shirt. I began to wonder how that snowman had migrated here to a few degrees off the equator. As I watched the snowman drift past me I began to think about the old saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” I had taken a break from running the HIV tests in a lab in a concrete slab building with no floor, door, or ceiling. I would receive a sample of blood and drop it into what looks like a small pregnancy test and wait for one line or two. I would watch the blood being drawn next to me and then I would run the test. You drop in the blood, followed by the developer and then pray for only one line . . . one line means negative. My first two liner for the day was certainly not who I would have picked by looking at the crowd. I ran the confirmatory test . . . two lines again. It is the Russian Roulette of pregnancy test. I once saw a test that had a smile face for pregnant and a blank face for not pregnant. There were no smiles when the two lines appeared.
The one good thing about this was that now there is one less secret between that person and their body. Paul Tournier said that “Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.” No one should be a stranger from themselves.
Get Tested! Be Safe!