At Chelston Clinic

From Hailey, a Wisconsin Lutheran College nursing student:

Today I was at Chelston Clinic, which is about a 30-minute walk from the Lutheran seminary in Lusaka. I spent the morning in the HIV testing area. One patient that came in was an 8-year-old boy. He was brought in by his mother to be tested for HIV. His mom is HIV positive, but the boy had not yet been tested.

I went in with a volunteer into a room with the mother and son. The volunteer explained HIV as an enemy soldier in the body. She also talked about ways someone could get the enemy soldiers (i.e., methods of transmitting HIV). She explained to him that we were going to test his blood to see if he had the enemy soldiers.

We then went to go test the boy’s blood. They used two tests to determine if he was HIV positive. We had to wait 10-15 minutes to get the test results.

The volunteer and I took the mother and son into a private room to give them the results. It turns out that this boy is HIV positive. It broke my heart to hear this. This innocent boy will have to spend the rest of his life on antiretroviral therapy. Going to Chelston Clinic was definitely an eye-opening experience.