Uganda-On August 24, 2017, Mr Denis Ewor visited Nambieso Health Centre III in Nambieso Sub-county, Kwania District, for a medical check-up after feeling unwell.
On arrival, he was warmly welcomed by a volunteer at the government health facility who later attended to him.
Mr Ewor was then screened for HIV and declared positive.
The father of three, who is a resident of Te-otyang Village, Aornga Parish in Nambieso Sub-county, was immediately initiated on anti-retroviral treatment without any confirmatory test done.
“When I reached home with ARVs, my wife fought me for three consecutive days and later abandoned me with the children,” Mr Ewor says.
After taking 16 pills, Mr Ewor felt he could no longer go on with the life medication, so he decided to visit Aduku Health Centre IV for another expert opinion on how he could deal with the disease.
“At Aduku Health Centre IV, I was re-tested but the test results turned out negative and I was advised to stop taking the medicine,” he adds.
Mr Ewor was told to return to the facility for a confirmatory test after three months. He complied and his test results again returned negative for the second time.
“When I went back to Nambieso Health Centre III and explained to the people who tested me, they instead requested for the medical report of their first test and tore it up,” Mr Ewor says, adding: “The person who did the first test was an intern.”
For the pain and psychological trauma that he went through, the management of Nambieso Health Centre III wanted to pay him Shs100,000 as compensation, his mother, Ms Anna Akech, says.
Mr Ewor revealed that he had asked for Shs2 million in compensation for psychological trauma that he went through but the health centre management apologised and later gave him only Shs200,000. Mr Humphrey James Ogwang, the officer-in-charge of Nambieso Health Centre III, regretted the incident.
“We have counselled the complainant and also resolved that whenever someone tests positive for the first time, that person is not enrolled on medication,” Mr Ogwang said in a recent interview.
“HIV-positive clients can only be enrolled on treatment after the second confirmatory test,” he added.
Records from the district health department indicate that there are more than 70,000 people on antiretroviral treatment in Kwania.
Mr Ewor on Tuesday said he was not yet satisfied with the manner in which the health centre handled his matter.
He said even the second woman whom he had got abandoned him because of the false-positive results.
“I have been trying to convince the second woman to return home but her family members say they are not sure whether I don’t have HIV/Aids,” Mr Ewor said.
What experts say
A false positive is a test result that says a person has HIV when, in fact, they do not have it. Because it is disturbing to receive a false-positive result, preliminary positive (‘reactive’) must be verified with a series of confirmatory tests, according to medical experts.-Monitor