Imo based On Air Personality and health journalist, Cranberry, on December 1st, 2019 shared a story of how a Nigerian doctor wrongly called her minutes before her show on radio to tell her she was HIV positive.
According to her, she had requested a simple test for fever, but the doctor who’s also a close friend went ahead to run HIV tests with her blood sample.
The test which later turned out to be wrong was announced to her by the doctor on the phone, without any pre or post HIV counseling, and was done without her consent.
Read her post below:
“3 minutes to my 10:30am show on a Monday in May 2019, the doctor called me to give me my results. He said, everything looks good. But I went ahead to run a HIV test with your blood sample and it doesn’t look good. It is showing me one more faint line. It is positive.
I was shocked! I had a show in 3 minutes. I said “that can’t be”.
My guests where in the studio. Ready for us to begin. I sucked it up and said to him “let me call you back”.
I went back into the studio… opened up the mic. Did my show like I had never done before. Ended at 10:55am. Started DarlingClinic at 11:05am and killed the show as well. At 1pm when it was time for the next show, I couldn’t anymore.
I called the doctor back. I had soo many questions. One major question was why he ran a HIV test without my consent? Second was why tell me on the phone without any care in the world? Third question was HOW? And then I came back to it’s impossible.
I remember calling my mum and telling her. She said: well, people live with HIV these days. Worst case scenario you move to Houston and stay with me.
I called the doctor back. He said to me, “you will have to run another test. It’s called a confirmatory test”. He sent me the address of where to go to for the test. I took permission from work and headed straight for the place.
Till today, I can’t believe how calm I was in all of this. I was informed, I knew it wasn’t the end of the world, I had great support systems. I went in and my blood was drawn. They asked me to come back for my result at 4pm.
I asked them to send the results to the doctor who started the chain of events in the first place. At past 4pm, my phone rang. It was the doctor. I picked up the phone…. “how are you?” He said… “I am doing alright”. Congratulations, the result is -.
What started as a “you should come in for some tests”, “you look sick, pale, the color of your eyes look somehow”…. ended in the doctor running extra tests different from what I was told. No consent.
Health practitioners need to learn to take pre and post HIV counseling seriously. I won’t even go into the unsought consent, I pardoned the doctor because of the relationship i have with the doctor. I just thought to myself, what if it was someone else?
Someone who doesn’t understand that a positive result doesn’t mean the end of the world. Someone who has no mother who can say move to Houston if it’s positive. Someone who has no courage to continue to work after hearing such news. What if the person was driving and crashed?
How serious does the Nigerian healthcare system take HIV counseling pre and post? All the things wrong with what I went through that Monday in May, I could only wonder how many people that go through this same thing. I have done 2 more tests since then and they were negative.