Of Door To Door HIV Testing And One Or Two Things
Government rag The Herald, has given a glowing report of the current door-to-door HIV testing in Mashonaland Central and Matabeleland North provinces.
Over 4,500 people have been tested with 30,000 being the target by the middle of next year.
The Zimbabwe Population Based HIV Impact Assessment (ZIMPHIA) has reported success chief among them being the overstating of stigma over the condition in Zimbabwe.
While we love the fact that we have evidence-based research backing statements as opposed to random statements pulled out of some clever fella’s notes, we are finicky about certain details.
One of those being, what happens if someone refuses to get tested and the neighbourhood finds out. What if they are one of the few who refuse testing among hundreds? It is not a stigma but then there will be issues of trust.
Also we know little about follow-ups after testing. After you go to a fella’s house and have tests done when next do they get a visit. And if they seem to have an irrational reaction ton their condition, what happens then? Is the programme equipped to deal with a situation that could escalate?
Then there is the issue of privacy. Sure, they say the stigma is a lot less but in reality, in an environment which is less controlled than a centre news spreads. What happens if some nutter gets certain information he shouldn’t? What happens when there are breaches? How much is the fault of the public and not of the practitioner?
Good ideas always need questioning.