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HIV False Negative Tests Are ‘Isolated Cases’

GEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman (CNS) -- Senior management at the Health Services Authority has restated that three false negative HIV tests conducted by private labs were isolated cases and claimed that health standards remain high in Cayman at both the public and private facilities.

“These are isolated cases and by no means undermine the quality of care offered in the Cayman Islands by both public and private healthcare providers,” Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Elizabeth McLaughlin and Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez said in a statement.

Following queries relating to approved HIV testing kits, they said the three cases were separate and unrelated incidents over a period of 12 months, from July 2015 to July 2016.

The cases initially tested positive at private healthcare facilities and the Public Health Department was informed by the doctors, the hsa bosses said, but a second test at private healthcare facilities tested negative.

“They subsequently tested positive at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) facility,” the statement said. “As part of the international standards which are practised locally by the HSA, all patients tested for HIV are retested, once they test positive initially. The three patients were retested at the HSA facility and its reference laboratory, Integrated Regional Laboratories (IRL), in Florida. All three tests were confirmed as HIV-positive.

“We categorically reaffirm that the patients, all healthcare providers involved, the Health Practice Commission and other relevant stakeholders were informed immediately of the results by the Acting Medical Officer of Health.”

A recommendation has now been communicated to all concerned that only World Health Organization standardised HIV testing kits be used.