Southeast Collegiate Hepatitis, HIV Tests: Rosalind Monias, Manitoba Mom, Says School Waited Weeks To Tell Her About Tests

WINNIPEG - The mother of a teenaged girl who is among 80 aboriginal students being tested for hepatitis and HIV says weeks passed before she was informed about the need for the tests.

Rosalind Monias says she only found out Friday that her 17-year-old daughter was one of the students who received a faulty diabetes screening early last month.

A University of Manitoba professor talked to students at Southeast Collegiate in Winnipeg on May 4 about diabetes and used a glucometer to test blood-sugar levels.

A university spokesman says the professor changed the needle used on each person, but failed to realize that the part that holds the needle must also be changed.

Many of the students were then given screenings for HIV and hepatitis as a precaution.

Monias says she's angry no one asked for her consent to do the tests until last week when she says a school official came to her door.

"I couldn't sleep last night," Monias said about the stress of waiting for the test results.

Health officials say the chance of contracting an infection is low.

Manto Sipi Cree Nation Chief Michael Yellowback, whose 15-year-old son goes to the school but didn't take the diabetes test, called the affair "deeply concerning."

"We have brought down parents from the reserve so they can be with their children when they get the results on Monday. But it doesn't end then because they have to be retested six months from now."

Southeast Collegiate, which opened in 1995, offers First Nations youth from remote communities a chance to attend school Winnipeg while maintaining their cultural traditions.

The university has said the professor who did the diabetes test wasn't authorized to do so and has been disciplined.

(Winnipeg Free Press)