VA Patient Tests HIV-Positive After Clinic Mistake
April 7, 2009
On Friday, the Veterans Affairs Department confirmed the first positive HIV test since it warned veterans who received care at three of its facilities they may be at risk. The department previously reported 16 hepatitis cases, but cautioned there was no way to prove the infections are linked to improperly sterilized endoscopy equipment at its facilities in Miami, Augusta, Ga., and Murfreesboro, Tenn. In an e-mail sent late in the day, the VA said it is investigating "the possibility of such a relationship."
The VA said it is still looking into whether veterans treated at its other 150 hospitals may have been exposed due to the same mistake prior to a nationwide infection control training effort. The department is certain the sanitization error was corrected in all of its facilities by March 14, a spokesperson said.
The endoscopy equipment used at the three sites is made by Olympus American Inc. The company said in a statement it is assisting the VA in addressing problems, which involve "inadvertently neglecting to appropriately reprocess a specific auxiliary water tube."
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This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.