Inmate mistakenly diagnosed with HIV tries to kill himself

Error in hospital records likely led to false report. Barzilai Medical center says investigating matter

An inmate at the Hasharon Prison was mistakenly diagnosed as a carrier of the HIV virus and consequently tried to take his life. Following the diagnosis, he was placed in an cell with two other carriers of the virus. The Prison Service said it followed procedure.


The man, aged 40, was arrested six months ago and placed in custody for drug charges. During one of the hearings in his case, he suddenly fell ill and was taken to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon where a release form stated that he was HIV positive. He was informed of his condition and consequently became depressed.


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"He kept insisting that he could not possibly have AIDS," the man's attorney Moshe Shuchtman said. "At one of the hearings we insisted that he be sent to another test and then it was revealed he did not have the virus. A check revealed the mistake was in the hospital's records. The event could have resulted in the prisoner's death."


The Barzilai Medical Center said in response that it is possible that the prisoner was admitted with Hepatitis C two years ago, which appeared in the report as HCV. "The letter C looks like I and therefore it is possible it was mistakenly copied as HIV."


But there is another possibility, the hospital said. "The December 2012 ER reference file said that the prisoner was HIV positive and it is very possible that the officers or guards that brought him in reported he had the virus.


"It should be noted that the circumstances in which the prisoner was brought to the hospital did not require an HIV test. The hospital will continue to investigate why the prisoner was classified as HIV positive."


The Prison Service said, "The mistake originated in the hospital. We followed procedure." 


Neri Brenner contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 08.01.13, 15:40
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