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False diagnoses wreak harm to patients

Imagine being told that you are HIV-positive. The doctor advises you to only have sex with other sero-positive patients and prescribes a grueling regime of medications that have crippling side effects.

For nine years, you struggle with your diagnosis. At one point, you even consider taking your own life to escape the misery of your condition.

Purely by chance, one day you discover that you are not HIV-positive at all. You were misdiagnosed.

That was the reality one Kentucky man faced. As a result, he filed a lawsuit against the medical center where he was incorrectly diagnosed as HIV-positive. His lawsuit was filed in Fayette County Circuit Court in 2013. Named defendants include the Bluegrass Care Clinic, the University of Kentucky Medical Center, the Fayette County Health Department and numerous medical practitioners.

The man initially questioned his HIV diagnosis, so his physician allegedly ordered a "confirmatory test," reported the Lexington-Herald Leader.

According to court documents, no physicians reviewed the results of his confirmatory test, which was negative. Instead, he was put on a treatment regime for HIV.

He took as many as a dozen pills each day. He confined his sexual activity to intimacy only with other HIV-positive partners. It was when he sought to collect veterans' benefits that the true diagnosis was revealed.

He sought all of his medical records from the University of Kentucky Medical Center. It was then that he realized no doctors ever ordered a full spectrum HIV test to confirm the initial diagnosis.

As you can imagine, the mental stress that accompanies a false-positive HIV diagnosis can be extreme. Lives can be irreparably altered, relationships fractured. If you were also falsely diagnosed with a condition that you never actually had, you may be able to seek compensation from the negligent medical providers.

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