Jamaica woman to be compensated by govt for wrong HIV diagnosis

(Jamaica Gleaner) The Government has agreed to compensate a St Andrew woman with just under J$9 million for a misdiagnosis that she was HIV-positive.

But that is not enough for 28-year-old Karen Reid, who suspects that medication she was treated with nine years ago might have affected her baby, as she was pregnant at the time.

“Well, I think I am satisfied with the outcome of the case, but there are things that are still bothering me because my son was born blind in the left eye as there is no pupil in that eye,” Reid told The Sunday Gleaner.

“I still remember the incident from time to time, and I am not 100 per cent satisfied in certain ways because I can’t get a doctor to say whether the treatment I got because of the false test results caused the blindness in my son’s eye. No one will tell me the truth,” said Reid, adding that her son “is a slow learner and this has been linked to the problem with his sight”.

According to her, it was two years of agony after a government medical official told her that she was HIV-positive in 2005. In 2007, a second test proved that she did not have the virus which causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome, shortened AIDS.

A pregnant Reid in 2005 went to the Harbour View Health Centre in St Andrew and she received the horrifying news that turned her life upside down.

In April of that year, she started going to the facility for antenatal care. An HIV test was done and two days later she received a call from the health centre. When she went in a nurse told her, in the presence of a counsellor, that she was HIV-positive.

“I was in absolute shock, confused and could not believe what I had heard. I simply wanted to die,” recalled Reid.

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