Man Goes Through Emotional Turmoil After Being Mistakenly Diagnosed With HIV And Started On ARVs

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Solomon Mthana, a South African man, has shared his experience of enduring mental and emotional distress after receiving a misdiagnosis of HIV and being prescribed ARVs.

According to the 50-year-old, discovering later that he tested negative has been an intense emotional and psychological journey for both him and his family.

His ordeal began when he visited Settlers Hospital in Makhanda in March to undergo surgery for a lump in his head.

During the hospital visit, doctors conducted various tests, including a rapid response HIV Test, which provides immediate results. The test indicated that Mthana was HIV-positive, leading to counseling and the initiation of ARV treatment.

However, Mthana later found out that the initial diagnosis was incorrect, and he did not have HIV. The toll of the medication and the emotional trauma caused by the misdiagnosis took a significant toll on his well-being, as recounted by the private security guard in an interview with Sowetan.

He said: “I was struggling to get used to the drugs. The first two weeks were the worst. I was vomiting constantly, had nausea and my body was often abnormally tired.”

However, the negative blood test results from the laboratory only arrived in April, after Mthana had already been undergoing treatment for over a month and adjusting to living with a virus that did not exist in his body.

He noted that he began to suspect something was amiss on the day the doctors delivered the news. Mthana observed that the nurses were unusually kind to him and offered him counseling on the spot.

Mthana said: “Around four nurses received me when I arrived at the facility and were too polite. I have never seen them like that. They even offered me tea. There was also a therapist. By that time, I knew there was something suspicious. Then the doctor came and broke this news.

“I had disclosed to my partner and some of the members of my family about my HIV-positive status which I was then told later it never existed. It’s been an emotional and psychological roller-coaster ride for me and my family. We have been taken to hell and back.”

The Eastern Cape health department has blamed the rapid response Test kit for the false results and also apologised to Mthana.

Department spokesperson Mkhululi Ndamase said the Test kits which give immediate results are not 100% accurate.

He said: “It is important to note that HIV test kits have a 99% accuracy rate, meaning there is a possibility of false positive cases. The Test was done in line with protocol. We can confirm that the patient is known to Settlers Hospital. The patient was called, and redress was done and accepted after the clinical processes taken were explained to him.”


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Mr Priceless
A young person with a passion for success and excellence to develop a professional career that encourages empowerment in the overall development of a person which is achieved through hard work. A Journalist with facts and a difference; standing by the truth all the time with interests in Science & Technology, Health, Celebrities' Lifestyle, Crimes, Education and Career Improvement.

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