9 March 2018

Uganda: Lab Technician Arrested Over Falsification of HIV Test Results

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(file photo)

Kampala — Police in Kampala are holding a laboratory technician for allegedly falsifying HIV test results.

The laboratory technician whose name has been withheld is attached to Citizen Medical Centre in Kiganda, Kasokoso in Kampala District.

Police says the suspect has been in the habit of changing HIV positive results to read negative for his clients at a fee.

"We have arrested a laboratory technician attached to Citizen Medical Centre in Kiganda, Kasokoso for conspiring with HIV/AIDS patients to falsify status certificates in breach of both medical ethical code and the Penal Code," the police said in a statement.

His arrest comes after a male counsellor set out to research on why there is a rise in HIV prevalence figures in Kasokoso area, according to police.

The laboratory technician in question has worked for a long period administering blood tests especially to couples preparing for marriage.

However, the suspect during research with the disguised counsellor, disclosed that some of the couples that visit the clinic to know their HIV/AIDS status have been paying him Shs50, 000 as a bribe to have their HIV positive results changed to negative yet in actual sense.

"He (counsellor) decided to use Citizen Medical Center in Kiganda, Kasokoso as a research sample together with his partner and was issued with an HIV negative results slip by the laboratory technician without taking them through a blood test," the police further said.

The researcher who has been on ARV treatment for three years, sought the police's intervention leading to the arrest and detention of the laboratory technician.

Subsequently, charges of negligent act likely to spread infection of disease are to be slapped against him.

This offence states that any person who unlawfully or negligently does any act which is and which he or she knows or has reason to believe to be likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

Police say various counsellors have opted for this method of spot checks on some of health facilities to ascertain the reasons for the increasing rate of HIV/AIDS infections in some areas around Kampala and its surroundings.

As a way forward, police have warned medical personnel to desist from falsification of results stating that it's unethical and puts the lives of other people at risk of being infected with HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

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