HIV scare after Australian health worker diagnosed with virus

July 15, 2014

Australian authorities were Tuesday urging 399 people in eastern Victoria state to have an HIV test after a health care worker was diagnosed with the virus that causes AIDS.

The Victorian Department of Health said it had conducted a thorough investigation and was following up with selected patients who had contact with the worker in the unnamed region.

"This is entirely precautionary as there are no reports of any patient contracting HIV from the health care worker," it said in a statement.

"But we are erring on the side of caution and recommending a blood test to rule out the presence of HIV."

One woman, who spoke on without giving her full name, said she had felt "very sick in the stomach" after receiving a letter from the health department urging her to have a test.

"I don't know where I (may have) got it because it's all very secret at the moment," she said.

Authorities said the chances of infection passing from the worker to a patient were very low.

"As I understand it the latest numbers are, of the 399, contact has been made with 248, 88 have had tests and all of those tests have been negative," state Health Minister David Davis told reporters.

Officials cannot name the or the procedures they were involved in or where they took place.

"What I can say is a health professional was detected with HIV, they have ceased practising," Davis said.

HIV is a blood-borne virus spread through with an infected person and blood-to-blood incidents such as needle stick injuries.

Explore further: France okays home tests for HIV

Related Stories

France okays home tests for HIV

November 7, 2013

Self-testing HIV kits will go on sale in France next year under a strategy aimed at reducing the spread of the virus causing AIDS, Health Minister Marisol Touraine said on Thursday.

Japan man contracts HIV through blood transfusion

November 26, 2013

The Japanese government and Red Cross said Tuesday that a man in his 60s has contracted HIV through a blood transfusion, while testing continued on another patient who received blood from the same donor.

Recommended for you

Videos reveal how HIV spreads in real time

October 2, 2015

How retroviruses like HIV spread in their hosts had been unknown—until a Yale team devised a way to watch it actually happen in a living organism. The elaborate and sometimes surprising steps the virus takes to reach and ...

Researchers find proteins that shut down HIV-1

September 30, 2015

A pair of studies by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the University of Trento in Italy, and the University of Geneva in Switzerland, point to a promising new anti-retroviral strategy for combating ...

An antibody that can attack HIV in new ways

September 11, 2015

Proteins called broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) are a promising key to the prevention of infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. bNAbs have been found in blood samples from some HIV patients whose immune systems ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.