Kentucky man Sues After Alleged HIV Misdiagnosis

This is something I would like anybody reading this article to take really seriously. When you get a HIV test done, it is meant, first of all, to happen in three steps. You are meant to be COUNSELED. A trained health personnel is meant to give you a talk about what HIV is, what the teat will be like, what either result means and how it will affect your life going forward. It should last anything from 5 – 10 minutes depending on the questions you ask or your state of mind. You are only meant to get TESTed after this talk. Now when the result is out (negative or positive), you are meant to be given another talk (POST TEST COUNSELING) on how to proceed with your life.

Even If the result of the test is NEGATIVE, it is NOT meant to be  a big hurrah. You are meant to have another test in 2 weeks to be absolutely certain you are free of the virus. Same thing if you are found POSITIVE. Either way, the idea is to be certain that the first result is accurate.

What frequently happens in Nigeria is that people just go have the test (usually in a roadside lab to protect their identity) and wind up horrifically traumatized if the result turns out positive. They frequently are too scared to do the confirmatory test which might actually show that the earlier result was wrong and they actually do not have it, and so wind up with people who might be negative, going around with the thought in their mind that they are positive when in fact they might not be.

In the story below, the man did get a confirmatory test done but was unfortunately given terribly bad advice subsequently.


The 43-year-old veteran, of Lexington, says that for nine years, he has had sex only with HIV-positive men and taken powerful, unnecessary medication that harmed his health. Russell says he even contemplated suicide and prepared his funeral arrangements.

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Bobby Russell said none of his doctors reviewed a test following his initial diagnosis that may have revealed he actually was not HIV-positive.


Bobby Russell said none of his doctors reviewed a test following his initial diagnosis that may have revealed he actually was not HIV-positive.

A Kentucky man is suing the medical center that allegedly misdiagnosed him as HIV-positive in 2004.

For nearly nine years, Bobby Russell, 43, says he had sex only with HIV-positive men and took powerful, unnecessary medications that harmed his health. He even says he contemplated suicide and prepared for his own funeral arrangements before learning he never had the virus.

“It’s just the most difficult thing I’ve had to deal with my entire life,” Russell said as he cried to local station LEX18.

He filed a lawsuit in Fayette County Circuit Court on Friday seeking compensatory damages from the alleged culprits: the University of Kentucky Medical Center, the Bluegrass Care Clinic, the Fayette County Health Department and a list of doctors.

Russell, of Lexington, said he questioned the diagnosis in September 2004, which prompted his doctor to order another “confirmatory test,” the Lexington-Herald Leader reported.

The lawsuit says that none of his doctors ever reviewed the second test’s results, which came back negative, so the doctors allegedly ordered him to start treatment for HIV immediately.

At one point, he says, he was up to 12 different pills.

The doctors also allegedly told Russell to avoid sexual relationships with people who do not have the disease.

Russell said he has had sex with “two or three” HIV-positive partners since his alleged misdiagnosis and has been in a committed relationship with one of them for two years.

The truth finally came to light after the Veterans Health Administration denied Russell’s disability benefits, he said.

“The Veterans Administration had always said, ‘You give us a confirmatory test, and we’ll start these benefits for you,'” Russell told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “But nobody had a confirmatory test result to provide me to give to the Veterans Administration.”

Russell requested all of his medical records from the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

“Upon this review, plaintiff concluded that not one medical provider ever actually ordered an appropriate full spectrum test for HIV — thus resulting in him being misdiagnosed for the condition of HIV,” the lawsuit reads.

A medical center spokesman declined to comment, citing policy about pending litigation.

Although he believes he was misdiagnosed, as the lawsuit says, Russell plans to go out of state to find a “reputable” doctor for a thorough analysis he says he should have received nearly a decade ago.

Culled from