A very busy and productive day today. Jody, Gyongver, and I went to Mount Meru Hospital and clinic to test the Orasure oral swab HIV test kit. We tested many HIV-positive patients as well as HIV-negative patients, and found the test to be easy to use and well received by the Tanzania patients. We were actually able to one patient good news, as she was previously tested at another hospital and was told she was positive for HIV; however, when we tested her, the results were negative. Repeat testing showed negative as well, which was then confirmed by two different blood HIV tests (using two different kinds of tests). We wish we could have been there to see her when the counselor told her she was HIV negative after all.
We did several interviews and learned a great deal about the patients and their experiences living with HIV. Although there is a long way to go, the Tanzanian people have made great strides in just the last couple of years with education on HIV, testing, medical treatment, overcoming social stigma, and living their lives with HIV.
After we finished at Mount Meru, we joined the rest of our group at Upone Clinic, where Dr. Shriner and Tom saw 25 patients today. On the side, we had art projects going with the children, group interviews with adults, and individual interviews.
It’s been a long but satisfying day. It feels like we are making some progress with our work and we feel good about it.