Malaysian women sues over false HIV diagnosis

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KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - A Malaysian woman who said she was ostracized after being wrongly diagnosed with HIV while she was pregnant has won permission to sue her doctor and the government, a report said.

Malaysia's Court of Appeal said 31-year-old Norizan Aspungi can proceed with a 1.0 million ringgit (272,000 dollars) suit, more than two years after the High Court dismissed the case.

"Give her a chance and let us hear the appeal," the New Straits Times newspaper quoted Judge Gopal Sri Ram as saying.

Norizan said her nightmare began in 1999 when she went for a routine pre-natal check-up during her pregnancy with her first child.

After undergoing an HIV-test at a government hospital, she said the doctor informed her she was HIV-positive in the presence of some of other villagers.

Another blood test found she was clear of the virus, but in the meantime she said she was ridiculed and humiliated by friends and relatives and had since found it hard to gain employment.

In February 2004, the High Court dismissed Norizan's suit on the grounds that she had failed to prove the alleged negligence.

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