Visitor Question

Leaked incorrect results of an HIV ELISA test?

Submitted By: Philip (Lafayette, GA)

I was not feeling good, so decided to sign up and go to the VA. The doctor advised me to have some vaccines and I did. She then wanted to do blood test, and advised me to take an HIV test, just to rule it out.

I said okay even though I had no reason to think I might have HIV.

In a few days I got a call that she needed to see me. I looked at the website of my records, and see a positive HIV ELISA test result. I went in to talk to her about it, and she told me I have HIV. Not good.

I told my girlfriend of ten years and she got herself tested, result negative. I looked at my test results closer, and they do not appear to be within the tolerances. My girlfriend’s healthcare persons tell her that a lot of false positives come from that facility (the VA).

The VA took blood about one hour after injecting three vaccines, which from what I have read is the most likely cause for the results. I agreed to take confirmation test. I decided to get a will made because of this diagnosis. I went to a local lawyer and he said everybody knows your business, and helped me make a will. My employer said he has no more work for me.

I got the second test back, which was negative. All over town people act strange towards me. No one will hire me, even though I am a trained and experienced welder, and welders are in demand. Someone in the VA or the local health department (or both) have done me wrong, and I am having to sell my belongings to survive.

Is there any thing I can do? How do I find out where the breach happened? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Philip,

Accusing someone of having an STD (sexually transmitted disease) is “per se” defamation. This means the person defamed does not have to prove the damages he or she suffered as a result of the per se defamatory statement. The mere statement to a third party that a person has an STD, when that person does not have an STD, is sufficient for the victim to seek compensation from the defamer.

To have a valid claim against the VA, you will have to prove the VA published, or caused to be published to a third party, incorrect information stating you were suffering from an STD.

From the facts you present, the only evidence you have of the publication to a third party about your incorrect diagnosis of an STD is a statement from your attorney “…everybody knows your business.” You will need more proof than the attorney’s rather opaque statement.

Ask the attorney you spoke with how he heard or read the information about “your business.” Be sure the attorney is referring to knowledge he or others gained from the publication or dissemination of wrongful information about your having suffered from an STD.

You may have to seek a different attorney to bring your defamation claim, as there is a chance the first attorney will be a witness in your case.

Learn more here: Claims for HIPAA Violations

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck!


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