Eastern Cape Man False HIV TestSolomon Mthana (Image: sowetanLive)

Eastern Cape Man Forced on ARVs After False HIV Test Result

A deeply distressing case has come to light in the Eastern Cape, where a local man was wrongfully diagnosed with HIV and placed on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, only to later be informed that he was never positive in the first place. The ordeal has left 50-year-old Solomon Mthana traumatized, both mentally and emotionally.

Mthana’s ordeal began in March when he visited Settlers Hospital in Makhanda for surgery to remove a lump on his head. As part of the pre-surgery process, doctors performed a rapid response HIV test, which incorrectly indicated he was HIV-positive. This led to immediate counselling and the commencement of ARV treatment.

Also read: EFF Leader Julius Malema Saves Rapper Shebeshxt with Urgent Medical Aid

Eastern Cape Man Traumatized After Misdiagnosis with HIV

Mthana recounts the harrowing experience, explaining that the first two weeks on ARVs were the worst, as he grappled with constant vomiting, nausea, and extreme fatigue.

“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,” Mthana said.

A month later, in April, laboratory tests returned with the correct results: Mthana was HIV-negative. This revelation came after he had already informed his partner and family of his false positive status.

“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,” said Mthana.

Also read: Decoding HIV: 6 Early Signs That Show You Might Have Contracted the Virus Unknowingly

Department of Health Acknowledges Rapid Test Kit Flaws, Apologizes to Victim

The Eastern Cape health department has taken responsibility for the blunder, attributing the false positive result to the inaccuracies of the rapid response HIV/AIDS test kit. However, this provides little solace to Mthana, who is now considering legal action against the department and the hospital for the personal injuries he has endured.

While Mthana is understandably concerned about the potential long-term effects of the unnecessary ARV treatment, former South African Medical Research Council president Prof. Glenda Gray has assured him that there is no need for such worries. Gray explains that ARVs are safe for HIV-negative individuals and do not lead to lasting complications.

By Tayana

Leave a Reply