HIV panic at high school

14 pupils at Emakhandeni Secondary School in Bulawayo were rushed for HIV tests after a boy at the school went around pricking them with a needle.

14 pupils at Emakhandeni Secondary School in Bulawayo were rushed for HIV tests after a boy at the school went around pricking them with a needle. 

Panicky parents made a report at Luveve Police Station after the pupil’s parents refused to meet them over the issue. A court last week heard how the Form Four pupil (16), who cannot be named for ethical reasons, hid the needle between his fingers and pierced other pupils’ hands after asking for a handshake.

The pupil pleaded guilty to assault. Western Commonage magistrate Mr Abednico Ndebele sentenced the juvenile to receive three cuts with a light cane at Bulawayo Prison.

All the pupils tested negative for HIV and are awaiting further tests after the three-month window period for infection. The teenager told the court that he meant no harm to his friends.

“I’m sorry to all my friends. I just thought it was a fun game with my friends. I didn’t know I could be putting them at risk of contracting diseases,” said the teenager.
HIV panic at high school
Prosecuting, Mr Stewart Madzore said on June 16, the pupil approached a classmate who studies fashion and fabrics asking for a needle. He allegedly claimed a button had fallen off from his shirt and he wanted to sew it back on.

Mr Madzore said the teenager used the needle to intentionally prick his classmates with the same needle, realising that his actions could cause harm to the victims.
Only five of the victims formally laid charges. The court heard that the pupils were taken for an HIV test and none of them was infected. In passing judgment, Mr Ndebele told the boy to concentrate on his school work and stop being a nuisance.

“I don’t expect such mischievous behaviour from a person of your age. You’re quite fortunate that your friends all tested negative otherwise you could have landed yourself in very serious trouble. To make sure that you stay in your best of behaviour, this court has seen it fit that you receive a few cuts for this offence,” he said.

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