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Panic Gripped Young Man After Wrong Diagnosis With HIV

Patna: A young man and his family spent a week of mental trauma after a private hospital in Patna wrongly diagnosed him as HIV positive//. He was cleared of the disease after tests at a government hospital.

When Ramparvesh Kumar Sharma, a resident of Nalanda district, was tested positive for HIV by doctors at a private nursing home on Dec 2, he and his family were thrown into panic and sorrow with the fear of death hanging over him.

After a few days of mental agony, some of his family members asked him to send it for testing elsewhere. They doubted the test report since Sharma, who is in his early 30s, is a healthy man. He had been admitted to the nursing home with high fever and symptoms of cerebral malaria.

He was cleared of HIV by the State AIDS Control Society at the Patna Medical College and Hospital and the New Delhi-based Dr Lal's Path Labs, where his blood was sent for re-testing.

"The tests showed him to be HIV negative," Sharma's relative said. The report arrived two days ago.

His family maintains that doctors of the nursing home had conducted a serological test in their own lab and clearly mentioned in the report that he was diagnosed HIV reactive - or HIV positive.

The hospital had discharged him, saying that he needed special treatment.

Doctors at the nursing home refused to talk to newspersons on the issue.

Sharma's is not the first case of a man wrongly tested as HIV positive in Patna. There have been earlier cases too, many reported in the local media, but the government has not cared to act against the private nursing homes responsible for such blunders.

Sharma's relatives said that they planned to file a legal suit against the nursing home seeking compensation for the mental and physical torture to the patient and his family.

According to official figures, 1,078 people in Bihar are infected with AIDS among its over 83 million popul ation. However, AIDS campaigners claim the figures are under reported.

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