September 29, 2020

Cayman Islands Statement on World Health Organization (WHO)-approved HIV Testing Kits

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The Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elizabeth McLaughlin, Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, and the Ministry of Health are providing further information regarding the reported “false negative results” in response to queries relating to approved testing kits.

The three cases were separate, and unrelated incidents over a period of 12 months, from July 2015 to July 2016.

All cases initially tested positive at private healthcare facilities and, as per protocol, the Public Health Department was informed by the physicians from those practices.

During this time, the patients also attended other private healthcare facilities and tested negative.

They subsequently tested positive at the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority () facility. As part of the international standards which are practised locally by the , all patients tested for HIV are retested, once they test positive initially. The three patients were retested at the facility and its reference laboratory, Integrated Regional Laboratories (IRL), in Florida. All three tests were confirmed as HIV-positive.

We categorically reaffirm that the patients, all healthcare providers involved, the and other relevant stakeholders were informed immediately of the results by the Acting Medical Officer of Health.

Since that time, a recommendation has been communicated to all concerned as per the guiding principles of the World Health Organization that standardised HIV testing kits be used.

We take this opportunity to reassure the public that these are isolated cases and by no means undermine the quality of care offered in the Cayman Islands by both public and private healthcare providers.

The WHO-approved testing kits list is available on the Ministry of Health’s website at [email protected]

END

IMAGE:Dr Lal PathLabs

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