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Table 3 The history of Mr. X: "I am saved, God has healed me"

From: "Driving the devil away": qualitative insights into miraculous cures for AIDS in a rural Tanzanian ward

When we first interviewed Mr. X in 2006 he had already initiated ART and was in a good state of physical and emotional health. Mr. X responded closely to what could be categorized as the profile of a "good adherer": he had not experienced side effects, was back to productive activities, had disclosed his HIV status to his wife and was able to economically sustain his family. He had hope for the future and plans to have descendents. He did not feel stigmatized by community members who often approached him asking for advice on HIV-related matters. His increased body weight made him feel optimistic and 'normal' and he reported having changed behaviours in relation to alcohol consumption and extra-marital sex. However, the VCT counsellors operating in Kisesa expressed growing concerns about Mr. X as he was increasingly missing appointments at the ART clinic. Involved in the fishing business, he reported travelling frequently to the islands in Lake Victoria without carrying his medication.
While he used to be a member of a mainstream church he had recently joined a revivalist denomination ("I went to church to be saved, to the faith healing churches"). He believed he had been "healed by God" during a "laying-on-of-hands" session and attributed his physical recovery to a miracle rather than to the antiretroviral therapy ("the bishop laid his hand on me"). By the time health professionals managed to persuade him to return to treatment his state had already deteriorated seriously. He passed away in his thirties, in 2008.