Henan man seeks compensation for HIV misdiagnosis
After being misdiagnosed as HIV positive in 2004 and consequently leading a life of solitude, discrimination and illness, a villager in Nanyang, Central China‘s Henan Province said Wednesday that he will continue to seek compensation from the local government and health authorities.
Yang Shoufa, a 53-year-old man in Zhenping county, Nanyang city, said the 100,000 yuan （$15,000） in compensation offered by the government is far from enough to rectify his decade of suffering from discrimination and the side effects of HIV medication.
“My life was totally ruined by the misdiagnosis. Everyone in the village ran away when they saw me, and nobody treated me as a living man,” Yang told the Global Times.
Yang‘s wife, who divorced him in 2011, told news site thepaper.cn, “The disease sounds horrible.”
A doctor at the First People‘s Hospital in Nanyang in 2012 told Yang that he did not have HIV, though he had been taking medication for HIV infection for eight years after being diagnosed with the virus by Zhenping county’s disease control and prevention center. The hospital also diagnosed Yang with esophagitis, gastritis, cholecystitis and prostatic hyperplasia.
According to the 2004 diagnosis statement cited by thepaper.cn, Yang was thought to have been infected with HIV when he had his blood drawn for sale in 1992.
After Yang‘s nephew posted his story online in November, the health bureau in Zhenping county said Yang had tested negative in an earlier HIV test, but his blood sample was positive for HIV in the 2003 test. The bureau pledged to conduct a DNA test to determine whether the sample was from another person.
If Yang was in fact misdiagnosed and the health department were to be found at fault, relevant department staff members would face punishment and Yang would be compensated in accordance with the law, the county‘s health bureau said.
However, the county‘s disease control and prevention center told thepaper.cn on May 12 that Yang’s 2003 blood sample has been stored too long to provide DNA for a test determining the sample‘s origins.
About half a million people in China have been diagnosed with HIV, and many HIV-positive people still suffer from discrimination, especially in rural areas, experts said previously.