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False HIV negative patients were ex-pats, but they are no longer on island.

Health officials have confirmed the three people who received false negative HIV results were ex-pats and have returned to their home countries.
Now health leaders are calling on everyone to update their HIV status and more importantly ensure tests used are World Health Organisation approved testing kits.

“It is not a Caymanian, it is not a PR, it is not an expat issue. It is a human issue,” acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elizabeth McLaughlin responding to social media backlash after announcing three false negative HIV tests were flagged… While she says everyone should get their HIV status updated. She assures “the panic button has not been pushed, what has been pushed is the determination that we should hold ourselves to a standard, all public and private.”

That standard, World Health Organisation approved HIV testing kits. While no specific regulations are in place for standardised testing acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez says it is being addressed.

“We continue to work with immigration to make sure the report that goes to immigration the immigration department are done with kits that are appropriate, that are reliable, that are approved,” Dr Williams-Rodriguez said.

Dr McLaughlin says Cayman’s quality of healthcare is not begin questioned.

“This is about ensuring good quality going forward. We have no evidence that suggest any of these testing people did anything in bad faith at this point,” she said.

She says mechanisms are in place to address that, but as a public safety issue Dr McLaughlin says all residents should take steps to protect themselves and ask questions of their healthcare providers. Both doctors explained with the false negatives all three patients tested positive for HIV first and re-took tests which returned negative results.
A third round of testing was done at HSA and again they yielded positive results.
The false negative results were from three different labs, however they have not shared the names of institutions involved.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 16 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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