A very sad case

I’ve been following the case of a 10 year old boy all week. It’s been very interesting and very sad.

 He’s 10. And HIV+. But he didn’t get it vertically. (His mother is negative, meaning she can’t have passed it to him.) His father and twin brother are also negative. This leaves us with very strongly suspecting sexual abuse. (There is a possibility as well that he got it from poor biohazard practices of a traditional healer. His mother swears up and down it isn’t sexual abuse but that he also hasn’t been to a traditional healer before he started getting sick a lot.)

 He’s also in severe physical pain from 3 arthritic joints. His right wrist, left ankle and his left knee are very swollen and warm. He can’t move them because of the pain. He’s completely nonambulatory. He cries when you move him around.

 We did a lot of tests– xrays, blood tests, and a joint tap– but haven’t gotten any useful results. Well, the xrays show that the joints are not septic (because they aren’t degrading). His white count isn’t elevated (maybe. It’s hard to know because we don’t know what his baseline is… as that’s affected by the HIV.) The lab didn’t do any of the tests on the joint fluid because they don’t have reagents. (They probably just chucked it but didn’t tell anyone so the poor family waited around all day for lab results.)

 Really, we don’t know what’s causing this and can’t get helpful information. It’s very sad.

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