HIV Impostors In Trinidad

Source: Trinidad Guardian: In order to get documentation showing that they are HIV negative, some people have resorted to paying others $500 to impersonate them during blood tests.

The Ministry of Health confirmed receiving reports of people impersonating others during blood tests but could not “definitively say” whether or not the impostors were being paid for their services.

A Health Ministry spokesman, who has been exposed to the scam, said “We do not know why they are doing it, but it is scary to think there are people out there being tricked into believing one thing and could be putting themselves at risk because someone is waving around a document that could be false.”

People may want to keep their HIV-positive status a secret from their employers, partners, and friends. However, this puts others at risk.

When the Sunday Guardian asked the Health Ministry whether it had ascertained why people would have chosen to have others impersonate them during HIV tests, the ministry said “The issue of perhaps stigma and fear of testing, challenges with partner disclosure, and workplace policy.”

As a result of this scam, where people are pretending to be others, the ministry has now implemented a policy where picture identification must be provided to get HIV tests done, Chief Medical Officer Dr Akenath Misir said.

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