Portrait of Pierre Bilabi, Director of Nursing at the Butabambe General Hospital Mbankana, Maluku II, Kinshasa, DRC.
"We perform about 300-400 HIV tests per month here. We have a buffer stock of tests which we can use if our normal stock runs out but sometimes we have to use it all up. In this situation, we cannot make detect cases of HIV in patients. We can only advise those people we suspect of being HIV positive to use of condoms, and so on. We are forced to send them home, in the community, unsure of their status! It happened to at least 35 people this month. Normally these people do not come back to get tested, only for other health problems. Because HIV is strongly stigmatized here, and because people are often afraid of the positive diagnosis, usually they do not return, and we lose sight of them”.