If testing for HIV is slow, try night time facility for a change

02Nov 2017
The Guardian
If testing for HIV is slow, try night time facility for a change

CHRONICLERS in Zimbabwe have lately unveiled an innovation in boosting voluntary turn up for HIV/AIDS testing, to find ways of drawing more people into testing their health status.

This innovation is helpful because it has enabled more people, especially exposed youths who don’t yet suffer any diseases for which blood tests are necessary, to come out of hiding to learn their health status. Many are relieved to find they are HIV negative, and this happiness builds greater care.


For many of those who read the report in this newspaper in the past week, this seemed a novelty, that HIV testing can be organised in specific clinics or hospitals at night, or simply after dark. The reason is that HIV suspicion is a debilitating image in wider society, and thus the testing can be held at night where people aren’t watching who is coming out of the testing facility, and no groups of people converge at hospital corridors as would be the case during the day. That gives worried people the confidence of walking into hospitals or clinics for a quick test.


So far there are no studies or say propagated results as to whether many youths who need to undergo HIV testing are compliant enough or tend to be shy of that exercise, and what organisations in the frontline of fighting HIV/AIDS spread are doing about it. Even when people go to hospital for medication on routine diseases it isn’t in every clinic or hospital that HIV/AIDS testing is conducted, as often there are malaria kits, etc. And doctors are unsure if those patients need to know their HIV/AIDS status, as often this can have a debilitating impact psychologically.


Handling HIV/AIDS cases purely as a hospital issue is a problem for the main part of what needs to be done is social, that it begins with an individual being ready and able to face the reality. When therefore an individual hasn’t volunteered for testing there is an inbuilt tendency to treat those auxiliary diseases which come up, like recurring malaria attacks, lesions etc. until the reality of having HIV or having developed AIDS can be confronted. That is what is changed by night time testing as one can be driven by simple curiosity or worry due to encounters, to find out.


While the rates of HIV prevalence in society have steadily fallen over the years, and one hears much less often on individuals with the debilitating situation in day to day environments, it is still very much part of society. There are those on anti-retroviral therapies, whether it is standard medication in hospitals or it is herbal combinations which, for those who get it right, is of good service. It is organic.

Organic material, that is, entirely composed of herbal applications, easily drain into the body fluids system and residue is extracted the way food or drink is processed in the body, while chemotherapy has arduous preconditions for it to be successful in holding back complications for many years. Proper nutrition and particularly careful medication in administering therapies are needed, while users of organic varieties can handle debilitating infections with far less ability to ensure nutrition of a specific level, as per standard medical recommendations. The trouble with these alternative therapies is that they are difficult to propagate, as they are often administered in the same environments where suspicions are raised on negative rituals. That is the problem; so only word of mouth helps dispensers of those life prolonging organic applications, and those who succeed to get it live much longer.