Jenn Morson, a writer from the suburbs of Annapolis, Maryland, received an HIV diagnosis when she was pregnant with her second child and shared her story of fighting the false diagnosis. According to Ozy, Morson said: “The lab had repeated my HIV test nine times, and my new obstetrician was lecturing me for endangering her by not disclosing my HIV status." In addition, Morson and her husband had both tested HIV-negative during a life-insurance exam the previous year, and it was alleged neither partner had cheated on the other.
She had questioned the diagnosis and asked, "Was I the first person to catch HIV from a public restroom? Had I contracted it from a mosquito? Worse still, had I given it to my husband? To my daughter? To our unborn child?" Moreover, Morson was given a diagnosis of HIV-2. She then contacted the Centers for Disease Control to get more information about the disease. That was when she was told that it was not likely that she had contracted that particular strain. According to Avert.org, HIV-2 is relatively uncommon compared to HIV-1, the principal strain of HIV present throughout the world. HIV-2 is generally present in West Africa and has a slower, less infectious prognosis than HIV-1.
Morson contacted her former nurse-midwife, who put her in touch with an immunologist who arranged for a blood draw to be sent to a lab in California, which was the only one capable of accurately performing the PCR test for HIV-2 at the time. She was told to act as if she had received a positive diagnosis. Morson wrote, "If my baby girl were to get cut, I couldn’t kiss it to make her feel better. I couldn’t let her kiss me on the mouth, in case either of us had an open sore. I fixated on every patch of chapped skin — would it open and get blood on her?"
Morson received her test results 10 days later. She was told she had an elevated antibody count due to her pregnancy, not HIV in any form. Morson added, "When my sweet baby boy was born, I covered him in kisses, no longer afraid that I was a danger to my children, but also keenly aware of how lucky I am."