Being told that you are HIV positive must be hard to believe at first and it was the same for Khiza Afreen from Pakistan: she was told that she’s HIV positive just days before giving birth and that it meant that her baby would have to be delivered by Caesarean section, so that the child wouldn't get infected by the HIV virus in the birth canal. But it turned out that the doctor gave her a false diagnosis...
Khiza endured four days of anxiety and stress before further tests confirmed that the first diagnosis was incorrect -and she gave birth the normal way two days later.
How could this have happened? Khiza had visited the GMC Hospital in Sharjah on December 10th of last year to collect blood-test results at her final check-up before giving birth.
Khiza said: “I was told that I was HIV positive and that I had to have a Caesarean to have my baby. I ran to the bathroom and started crying, I was afraid to give my mother the bad news. Last year, my dad passed away and my mother is old and can’t take a shock like this, so we hid this news from her.”
A second hospital test taken on the same day came back negative, but patients who have tested positive first are required to undergo a a third check by the Ministry of Health, to confirm their final HIV status. This test thankfully came back negative as well four days later and Ms. Afreen gave birth to a healthy baby boy on December 16th.
“Hospitals carry out a baseline screening to test for hepatitis and HIV as standard before a woman is admitted to deliver a child. False positive results in such tests are common. The mistake in this case was that the patient was informed of the result of the baseline screening test before confirmatory test results were given,” explained Dr Nishi Singh, a virologist and chair of health sciences at Dubai Women’s and Men’s College, Higher Colleges of Technology.
Well… whatever the reason was, it must have been shocking news for the mum-to-be. Thank heavens to the happy ending of this story.