Two weeks ago Jacob and I took twelve blood tests to Lusaka. These blood tests were from the twelve chilren in the orphanage who have, at one point or another, tested positive for HIV. I think I explained the whole process in a previous blog. But the short version is that you can't trust an HIV test from a child who is less than 18 months old, because the child carries their mother's antibodies for that long. They may not actually be infected with the virus, but they could show up positive with the kind of testing that we have the ability to do on the farm. When we found out about this advanced testing in Lusaka, we decided to test all of the children to find out who was actually infected with the virus, because those that weren't were being poisoned by unneccesary medications.
Last night, we recieved the test results! Of the twelve children that were tested, two were indeterminable and had to be retested. Three came through as true positives. And SEVEN were diagnosed HIV NEGATIVE! This means that the majority of children that previously had a death sentence on their lives will be able to live long and healthy lives, especially once we are able to wean them off of the medication that they have been taking since birth. This is a huge praise! An especially awesome thing about it is that we had a set of twin boys, Bright and Bruno, who were born of an HIV positive mother. They both tested positive at birth, and because their mother was so sick, they were put into the orphanage. Sal and Renee found and rescued the dying mother and started her on HIV medications. She is now healthy and happy, still HIV Positive (as she will be for the rest of her life.) But able to live well with the help of the medications. The twin's father is still alive and the mother and father are in the process of getting married. They really wanted to take their kids out of the orphanage, but they couldn't afford the medications that the children were taking for HIV. Well...both of those twins tested negative! That means that as soon as we can get them weaned from the medication, they can go back to living with their natural mother and father. A family reunited!
I am so glad for these children and can't stop talking about the goodness of God. In a country ravaged by AIDS...7 negative tests is something to sing about!