Health officials say HIV false negatives from isolated cases

The Health Services Authority provided additional information Thursday about three recent cases of false-negative HIV results from private clinics in the Cayman Islands.

The three cases occurred between July 2015 and July 2016, and were unrelated, public health officials said.

In each case, the individual originally tested positive at a private clinic and the results were sent to the Public Health Department. Upon consultation with a second private clinic, the patients received negative results.

As is standard following positive test results, the patients were re-tested at a Health Services Authority facility and the results were confirmed by Integrated Regional Laboratories in Florida.

“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,” the Health Services Authority said in the release.

“We take this opportunity to reassure the public that 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 Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez said there is no concern about using private clinics and that patients should be tested where they feel the most comfortable.

“If anyone has a concern that there has been a false negative, they could check with their doctor to make sure they used a reliable test,” he said.

Dr. Williams-Rodriguez and the Health Services Authority are currently consulting with government to improve HIV-testing recommendations.

The Authority has encouraged clinics to utilize tests approved by the World Health Organization.

The Health Services Authority coordinates free HIV testing every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Red Cross in George Town

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