Health officials in Nghe An Province in central Vietnam have apologized to a man for a mistaken diagnosis of HIV more than 10 years ago, but he is demanding compensation.
The Nghe An Department of Health’s Preventive Health Ward tested the man, identified only as S., in 2003 when he was serving a jail term and said he had HIV.
In late 2013 he finished his sentence and came home and reported to a local medical center, where
the staff thought he seemed healthy. Suspecting the HIV test result was incorrect they urged him to test again.
S. got tested at the department’s HIV/AIDS Prevention Center as well as the Nghe An General Hospital, and both tests came up negative.
He filed a complaint with the department, asking for compensation.
The department’s top officials came to his house to apologize on April 1.
They also removed his name from the list of HIV-positive people in the province.
Nguyen Xuan Hong, deputy director of the department, called it “a regretful mistake.”
Those in charge of HIV tests at the time have all retired since and it would be very hard to identify the cause of the mistake or the responsibility of those involved, he said.
“We really hope the family can show us some sympathy.”
But S., now 43, refused to give up his demand though he has not come up with a specific number.
He said the test result had caused him a “spiritual breakdown” and prevented him from getting a job or a wife.