by Ricci Davis.
Ricci Davis, independent investigator, interviews a worker in an HIV test clinic in Kampala, Uganda (2009). Watch the Video
Text (Ricci Davis): I’ve just stepped into my local clinic in Kampala to inquire about the perceived accuracy of HIV antibody tests.
Davis: So how accurate are these?
Davis: How accurate is this test
A: They’re accurate. They’re accurate.
Davis: How do you know?
A: I know ’cause I’ve used them. Use them in less than ten minutes. You have the results.
Davis: It produces results, but how do you know that the results…
A: Are right?
Davis: Are correct?
A: They are, ’cause… they’re recommended.
A: The medical staff
Davis: Which organisation are they recommended by?
A: Of course the medical…whatever. The drug authority.
Davis: You mean WHO? You mean the World Health Organisation?
A: The Drug Authority. The National Drug Authority who recommends them. That’s why we buy them. Now like the pregnancy hCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) tests, eh?
Then how do you know that they’re right? ‘Cause they’re recommended. So we buy them and test people. And you know if someone is pregnant or not through the serum or blood.
Davis: With the “HIV tests” the results have to be accurate.
A: You advise to test 3 times. So you can use this in a first place, you go to another place and use another method, like that. Till you prove. And you have to live with it. You have
to get used, so that’s why they counsel you. ‘Cause some people can even kill themselves, because they’ve learnt that they have HIV.
Text: This form of Russian roulette benefits medical clinics and test kit companies and defers the stressful task of counseling of someone who tests “HIV positive” to someone else,but clients are often already bankrupt. Whose lives does “HIV testing” save? ? ? ? Davis: Yeah, because the counseling sessions offer no consolations, as far as I see it.
A: They do, ’cause… now people live for over 10, 5 years. But in those days people learnt…used to learn that they’re “HIV positive” eh? They would feel so bad, feel so out of place,everything. Feel so isolated and all that. And they would really be worried and their lifespan would… shorten, eh? But the counseling helps to give you the, the…to live on. To know that you can live with it. People live for 10, 15 years.
Davis: But the toxic drug cause liver failure. The ARVs in general. Did you know that?
A: I didn’t, ’cause I don’t know much about that. So all in all, that’s all I can give you.