How Pastor by error infected own child with HIV after sex with housemaid
By Dr Adesida Adewumi
I have the permission of Pastor Adelokun (not real name) to share his life experience with you so that you can learn from his true life bitter story.
“Doctor you infected my child with HIV: I will sue you and your generation” These were the words of Pastor Adelokun to me in the children out patient clinic the day in question. As he was threatening brimstone,his wife, who was a nurse, was spitting fire. The threat was directed towards me because I happened to be the one that attended to the same sick child 3 months ago when he was very sick and we had to give him blood.
For you to understand the present event, let’s go back to what happened three months before.
Three months before this event I was on call in our children emergency when Pastor Adelokun brought the same 3 years old sick son. We diagnosed the child to have severe malaria with severe anemia ( very low blood level). We needed to give the child blood and Pastor Adelokun said he would prefer to donate blood to his child because he didn’t want just anybody’s blood that would give his child HIV. Medically speaking this is actually the best practice if family can donate to family.
We tested pastor Adelokun’s blood it was free from every infection including HIV. Mind you our nigerian laboratory system can only detect HIV that is more than 2 weeks in the blood in most cases. If someone gets HIV today, the person enters what we call window period whereby if the person is tested for HIV with some HIV tests the tests will not show positive until like 6 to 8 weeks when the person’s body has produced enough antibody or with the best of test kit that can discover it as early as 2 weeks after getting infected. The risk is always there.
We transfused pastor Adelokun son with his blood. We treated the malaria. The child got well and we discharged them.
After like 2 months,pastor Adelokun and his nurse wife discovered some rashes on the body of their child and the child became very sick again. The child was treated by the nurse wife at home. He got better. A month after this, the child became sick again which necessitated this children outpatient clinic visit where the above fight ensued.
Pastor Adelokun caused a scene that day in the clinic because we did quick HIV test for the child from the side laboratory close to the clinic because of the rash in the child’s body which was suspicious of HIV and the test came out positive. Now the question was where could this child probably get HIV from? The only and one obvious source was the blood transfusion of 3 months ago when he was sick with malaria and anemia. Pastor Adelokun was furious because according to him we might have used another person’s blood instead of his that he donated for his child and he was negative so where could the HIV come from if not from our mistake. This was the reason he and his wife were ready to kill us if possible that day. After a while the situation was calmed down by the senior doctors in the clinic that day. Then the next plea with pastor Adelokun was to allow his HIV test to be repeated. He confidently agreed to this because he was so sure he was negative but to everybody surprise his test came back HIV positive. Now there was silence everywhere. The question running through everybody’s mind was where did pastor with HIV negative nurse wife get HIV from. The wife was in shock. Out of fear and disbelief she too volunteered to be tested. She too came out to be HIV positive. Utter confusion. She was in denial. Eventhough she was a nurse ,at risk of HIV by the virtue of her work,she had never had needle prick at work she claimed,no blood splash on the face or anything that could put her at risk of contracting HIV and she still did her HIV test 3 months ago at work. She was negative. The utter confusion continued that day until pastor Adelokun opened up to us all on what happened in their home almost 4 months ago( like 1 week before the child’s first sickness).
He said and I quote….” I think satan has succeeded in destroying my life eventually. I am afraid this may be as a result of the sin I committed like 4 months ago. All my life I have been faithful in serving God and being faithful to my marital oath ever since I got married 10 years ago until 4 months ago doctor when my wife went for her nurse night shift and I was home alone with our new house girl. This girl has been tempting me every night whenever my wife went for night duty. She would wear transparent night gowns and sat in the sitting room with me. I did all to resist this for a while but 4 months ago i crashed doctor i slept with her. I dont know but i think i might have gotten this HIV from her because this is the only way I have erred I could remember”
Everybody was quiet and everywhere silent. We must resolve this matter today and get to the root of the matter. Our most senior doctor requested for the house girl to come to the hospital for her own HIV test. She came ,tested and she too was HIV positive. Another round of silence everywhere. Everybody involved sobbing deeply except the sick 3 years old son who was too young to understand what was going on.
I was overwhelmed. I felt like crying. I had to take a walk to my car in the park. After 5 hours the matter was finally resolved. House girl gave pastor Adelokun HIV. Pastor Adelokun gave wife by sex and child by blood transfusion. I have been exonerated. My licence was safe one more time because this is the commonest threat doctors receive daily. “I will sue you. I will seize your licence”. As I was walking towards my car that day a lot of lessons came knocking at the door of my brain. Below are the lessons:
1. Taking house girls to your home without conducting medical tests for them to be sure they are healthy is not too good an idea.
2. I equally learnt that pastor Adelokun was able to succumb to this temptation more because of the absence of his wife due to night duty. In as much as I wont blame the nurse wife for being a shift worker,generally i just learnt from this story that husband and wife should remain together as much as possible. This can really help in resisting this kind of temptation together.
3. I want to believe that if pastor Adelokun had told his wife long ago the temptation this house girl was putting him may be he would have escaped this night mare for himself and his family. Fighting your battle alone after marriage is wrong. This is never the purpose of God for marriage.
4. Our health care laboratory system needs more improvement and very importantly also is for a doctor to document intoto all you do for your patient because threat may come beckoning for your licence someday.
Adesida Adewumi is of the department of family Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano