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14 pupils in HIV scare

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14 pupils in HIV scare
CONFIRMING THE INCIDENT: Tabona

Form One boy thought to be HIV+ injects himself and classmates with same needle

A 16-year-old Form One student alleged to be HIV positive injected 14 of his classmates with the same needle he had earlier used to prick himself.

The incident, which occurred at Maitlamo Community Junior Secondary School in Maun, came to light last Thursday when one of the pupils reported the matter.

Teachers from the school have anonymously told The Voice that the troubled boy is definitely on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment and deliberately set out to infect his schoolmates.

The 14 students have since been screened, with all testing negative for HIV.

Confirming the incident, the school’s head, Badisa Tabona described the accused as a ‘mischievous and naïve’ boy but insisted there was no malice in the youngster’s actions.

“The issue was reported to us on Thursday last week after he apparently pricked one student who could not condone it. Upon investigations, we learnt that he had been pricking others with the same needle since Tuesday, with no intent but just for the fun of it,” maintained Tabona, adding that when confronted, the boy explained he was only playing and was unaware that doing such was not permissible.

When questioned about the rumours surrounding the boy’s HIV status, Tabona could not comment but instead revealed the 14 students were taken to the hospital for assessment whilst the boy remained behind.

“Parents were briefed about the incident but the boy’s identity had been concealed for his security,” he said.

The school kids were admitted to Letsholathebe Hospital, with the institute’s Superintendent, Dr Maxwell Mungisi revealing the 14 received counselling, along with their parents.

Dr Mungisi also revealed the pricked pupils were put on post-exposure prophylaxis – a medical treatment to minimise the chances of HIV infection after a recent possible exposure to the deadly virus.

“The students will come for review after 30 days and when post-exposure prophylaxis is administered like this, chances for them to be infected by HIV are slim if at all there was a virus during the procedure,” explained Dr Mungisi.