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can i sue?
Dec 9, 2003

ok, not a usual question for you, i'm sure. it might actually be more a combination of two types of questions you get rolled into one.

based on duration of time since my last possible hiv exposure and recent test results, every doctor i ask, every cdc person i speak to on the phone, and all common knowledge of hiv and testing tells me there is no way i can be infected with hiv at this point in time.

let's say with this information, i have sex with a woman who has never had a possible exposure to the virus.

and let's say it turns out that i eventually test positive, and so does she, and it is determined by the infectious disease docs that most likely, based on my symptoms, and when they appeared, and hers, and when hers appeared, that i was in fact the one who infected her, and not the other way around.

let's say both her and my honesty in the matter can be confirmed with a polygraph test - showing this is the real story, and we aren't unfairly making the tests look like they don't work properly - but that in my particular case, the tests truly misdiagnosed me (repeatedly).

given that all along, i felt i still might have been infected, and all along, the doctors told me there was no way i could have the virus, and that it was safe to have unprotected sex with this particular woman who couldn't have possibly had the virus either, who is responsible for this poor woman's health status now? it would seem to me that whomever is responsible for issuing these official statements about the elisa test's efficacy, and maybe even also the very doctors who told me i wasn't a danger to anyone i slept with, should compensate this woman for the reckless green light they gave me to exchange bodily fluids with her - when i persistantly showed them that my symptoms were very suspicious, and they simply responded by directing me toward psychotherapy.

doesn't she deserve something from these doctors and maybe even from the cdc?

Response from Ms. Breuer

I am not a lawyer. I do know these few things:

1. The timing of the appearance of symptoms is no clue to the timing of infection. Some people develop symptoms within days, some only years later.

2. The specificity of the HIV test as it is usually administered is 99.8%. No medical test is perfect.

As tempting as it is to hold some more powerful entity responsible for tragic outcomes, it's rarely successful. Suing would drain you of all your resources and more, would take years, and would fritter your life on revenge rather than on investing in taking care of yourself, and perhaps also of this woman. Your choice.



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