A 20-year-old Thai woman is reportedly filing charges against the Thai Ministry of Public Health for wrongly diagnosing her as HIV-positive when she was just 8 years old.
Suthida Saengsumat, whose childhood was allegedly ruined by the wrong findings, is now seeking compensation from the government agency, Daily Mail reports.
According to Saengsumat, when she was a kid, children and fellow students from her elementary school rejected her due to the condition everybody thought she had.
“I cried alone every night at home. No money could repay what I lost and I would like to tell the doctor,” the housewife from the province of Roi-et was quoted as saying.
She remembered being told that she had HIV 12 years ago, after her school subjected her to a test, reports the Bangkok Post. Her teachers felt that she should be tested because her father had just died of AIDS and her mother had developed a serious allergy.
Despite not being given a second test to verify and confirm the initial result, Saengsumat was given antiretroviral drugs daily. She would later drop out of school after she could no longer tolerate the discrimination she suffered from fellow students. Soon after, she quit school and got married.
At age 15, Saengsumat got pregnant and gave birth to her first child despite using contraception.
When she tested her baby for HIV, the results came back negative. She then decided to take the test for herself and was shocked to find out that the results showed she did not have the disease. Saengsumat then decided to stop taking her antiretroviral drugs.
To clear all her doubts about her own health, she went again for another test. When the results came back negative once more, Saengsumat was suddenly overwhelmed with feelings.
“My children, from now on you will not have to be embarrassed or hide from others because I do not have Aids,” she told the Bangkok Post.
The report did not disclose the name of the hospital and doctor involved in Saengsumat’s wrong diagnosis.
According to Preeyanant Lorsermwattana, chairwoman of a network of people affected by medical negligence, a growing number of victims in Thailand have suffered the same fate due to medical negligence.