The Emotional Turmoil of an Incorrect HIV Diagnosis

On March 29, 2007, Denis Okaka underwent an HIV test at an AAR Health Services (Uganda) Limited laboratory. The test results indicated he was HIV positive. Subsequently, he repeated the test three months later at the same laboratory, receiving another positive result without a copy of the findings. A CD4 count was performed in November 2007, following the positive HIV test.

In May 2008, Okaka experienced breathing difficulties and visited Kampala Family Clinic where he was diagnosed with high blood pressure and surprisingly, found to have an undetectable HIV viral load and a near normal CD4 cell count. Three tests for HIV conducted at the clinic turned out negative, leading to the conclusion that he was HIV negative.

Three years later, in July 2010, Okaka attempted to retrieve his results from the AAR laboratory but was told they were deleted due to software overhauling. Consequently, Okaka filed a civil suit against AAR for medical negligence on December 17, 2014.

His case cited negligence that led to two false HIV diagnoses, causing emotional distress and loss. His lawyer emphasized the failure to adhere to Ministry of Health stipulated procedures for HIV testing, culminating in a false positive result.

AAR contested the claims, arguing they were not negligent in testing Okaka’s blood and highlighted his contributory negligence for not undertaking routine HIV tests. AAR’s defense presented the permissible flexibility within guidelines and the use of accepted testing methods.

The matter will continue in the next part.

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