University Teaching Hospital
University Teaching Hospital

The Treatment Advocacy Literacy Campaign says no one should be forced to undergo an HIV test.

TALC Country Cordinator Felix Mwanza said the move by the University Teaching Hospital and other public health facilities to start diagnosing all admissions for HIV without the consent of the patients is an abuse of human rights.

Mr Mwanza said HIV diagnosis and any other clinical tests must be carried out if the full consent of the patient.

He said his organisation has always advocated for the full knowledge of testing and treatment regimes that patients living with HIV have to undergo.

“Our fear is that if not properly handled, this might lead to increased cases of stigma against people living with HIV. Our stance is that patients have to be taken on board,” Mr Mwanza said.

He said the national HIV response strategy also advocates for Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) which he said should be promoted.

It has emerged that UTH and some public clinics are implementing a new testing protocol called Diagnostic Testing and Counselling (DTC) which entails that all admissions are subjected to HIV testing.

UTH Spokesman Mwenya Mulenga explained that DTC is aimed at helping the hospital diagnose patients faster and speed up the treatment process without wasting time on unnecessary tests.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Let them try it on me and see how i will make money out of poor UTH, were have their medical ethics gone?

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    • If that’s what it takes to curb infections then people should be forced! Some of you Govt. officials have multiple sex partners!

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    • They do it without the knowledge of the patients. They get blood samples and pretend to be testing for say malaria when they are actually testing for HIV.

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  2. DCT ITS A NICE TOPIC NOW THE WAY DOCTORS DO IT THEY TEST FOR HIV WITHOUT PATIENT KNOWING AND WHEN RESULTS COME OUT POSITVE THEY FAIL TO DISCLOSE RESULTS AND START FORCING SAYING WE SHALL NOT GIVE U ANY TREATMENT UNTIL U GO FOR HIV TESTING.THIS IS DEPRESSING ALOT OF PIPO & END UP DIEING FAST. U DEVELOP A GUD APPROACH NOT SUBJECTING TO DR ‘S PERSONAL NEEDS.

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    • @jkalusa, I totally agree. Know of a few cases where doctors in Zambia have refused to treat certain condition because they are usually “associated” with HIV infection. Luckily enough families commenced treatment with the help of others who were knowledgeable with the conditions.
      So what am simply saying is some doctors most likely will not treat patients who turn out hiv+.

      By the way this is not only in Zambia, I read somewhere that even Zim. But there it is even worse as they will be conducting door to door HIV testing, so a person doesn’t necessarily have to be admitted to a health institution. Just google it on the net – door to door HIV testing in Zimbabwe

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    • Testing patients also helps protect the health services providers and gives them tools to treat the actual ailments without guessing. I would rather know my status than not. My only worry is that Zambia may not have enough resources to fund that testing with that many sick people.

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  3. Why fear a test instead of an infection? From the signs and symptoms that persist in a body with weak immunity for more that a month, sure someone must be able to seek further investigations. Many people know their HIV status thru signs & symptoms but wouldnt want to be tested to confirm it. These are the people doctors feel must be tested even against their will to prevent further damage to their bodies and infecting others.

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  4. People of Zambia, let’s not allow ignorance to kill people. It’s actually the denial syndrome that has killed most people … ending up seeking help when it’s too late. So please let’s know when to advocate for the so called human rights when all know what’s in the offing … early retirement to the grave!.

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  5. This is a necessary abuse of human rights, if done right. Both approaches have their consequences, but the most important thing is that people who know their status earlier stand a chance of living longer, and out living even those who are not infected when medication is taken properly. What kills most people in African is the “i don’t want to know” syndrome, and it somehow seems to be embedded in us. People from other places of the world do a full health check annually, lets do the same. We stand a chance of being healthier this way.

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  6. In this time and age, we must surely promote people to know their HIV status as we move towards meeting the 90-90-90 target ( 90 % of people living HIV tested; 90% of them know their status and linked to care; and 90% have viral suppression). This is achievable if HIV testing and counselling is used as a gateway to care. Its decades now that HIV has been with us and stigma showed not be an issue. Personally, if I feel that my body is not the way I understand it to be I will go for full medical examinations including HIV so that I know what the problem is. Imagine doctors attempting to deal with a persistent infection when the underlying problem is HIV; such that commencing HIV treatment would help the patient return to health!

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  7. With the infections rate in Zambia, let HIV tests be compulsory. Most of us have been subjected to HIV tests without knowingly & unknowingly in hospitals. And if you’re not HIV positive, why worry? If you’re positive, it is a good way to start on ARVs early and prolong your life. Actually we need the South African law of tattooing everyone with HIV AIDS to safeguard the nation from those whose interest is to infect others.

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    • We expect such organisations advocating for peoples’ rights to be at the fore front in encouraging people to go for a test. People are dying from simple ailments that can easily be treated if diagnosed early but in the name of human rights we subject people to late diagnosis and eventually lose life. Please encourage them to freely participate in the H.I.V test as every person has the right to life and a good health. so please remove the human rights politics and let the people know their status and prolong their life.

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  8. My personal experience with HIV is that it’s best to know so that one can manage it. I’ve known my status for 11 years. I was on ARV’s for 2 years until I took a step of faith and discontinued and now just live on a healthy diet coupled with nutrients from herbal life for over two years now. I would not recommend this to but would advise those with extra for a beer to invest in fruit juice, vegetables and above hold on to God’s promise in Psalm 103:3

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  9. HIV IS NO LONGER A THREAT BUT STIGMA IS THE NEW DISEASE WHICH THIS KA GROUP SHUD BE FIGHTING TO REMOVE. IS IT BY CONTINUEING THE CONCELLING SYSTEM OR IT BY TREATING HIV JUST LIKE ANY DISEASE? WHICH IS MORE THREATENING NOW CANCER,SICKLE CELL,DIABETES, THESE U DO NOT NEED CONCELLING WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIV BEING TREATED LIKE ANY DISEASE. REMOVE CONCELLING PART INSTEAD TRAIN ALL CLINCIAN IN CONCELLING JUST TO HAVE SKILLS ON TO HANDLE DIFFICULT CASES. WE MISS ALOT OF PATIENTS WHO HAVE STIGMA AND CAN T AGREE TO A TEST BUT WITH THE CLINICIAN ORDERING IT LIKE ANY TEST ITS FINE AS AT NOW. PLZ GIVE DOCTORS A SAY & FOLLOW THAT.

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  10. i agree with the medical board, DTC ili che… hands up… i second the motion. infact, its been long over due.. lets also encourage families, especially male members to go for circumcision, please please,.. let MC be compulsory…tell your brother, cousin, uncle, lets go ku mudula. have nice day and remeber to pray and support HH for a better tomorrow.

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  11. When those managing the nation are infected is why such drastic decisions have been imposed. They are too ashamed to come out and making decisions that will cost lives. Because of the stigma, people will not voluntary get tested and will continue spreading the disease. We also need to hold those who spread it accountable by having names on file as record. Sick people in hospitals must to be tested, mothers giving birth automatically have to be tested. This is how you monitor and a quick and cheap way of doing it, right at the source.

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