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Lawsuit: VA Docs Didn't Tell Military Vet He Was HIV-Positive for 2 Decades

Tuesday September 15, 2020

A lawsuit brought by a U.S. military veteran in South Carolina alleges that Veterans Administration doctors didn't tell him of his HIV positive results after testing him in 1995, The State reports.

The plaintiff - identified only as John Doe - claims that the first time he heard of his HIV-positive status was during a doctor's visit in 2015, despite the test's results having been included in his medical record.

The State reports that the doctor's notes from 2015 detail how:

"I looked at the patient and ask (sic) him who was his infectious disease doctor, and the patient states (he) did not have one and (I) ask (sic) him if he knew that his HIV test was positive, and he stated (he) never was told it was positive."

The suit claims that medical staff at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center, which is located in Columbia, SC, should have informed the veteran of his HIV status, and "proper treatment" should have been provided to him right away.

"In clear contravention of the standard of care, Mr. Doe was not informed of the positive HIV test until decades later," the suit alleges.

"The veteran was only definitely diagnosed and given access to antiretroviral therapy after he was hospitalized in a non-VA facility in New York in 2018," The State reports. "By that time, the disease had advanced to full-blown AIDS and permanently affected the patient's health and immune system."

The medical director at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center told The State that "the agency is unable to comment on pending litigation," the article noted.

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