Source: The Australian, 1 September, 1994, p.5
by Jody Scott The likelihood that a common source infected four women who became HIV posi- tive following minor surgery by a Sydney doctor was up to 80 per cent, the NSW Medical Tribunal heard yesterday. Professor Antony Cunningham, an associate professor of virology at Sydney's Westmead Hospital, said that while molecular and epidemiological tests were incomplete, research had found similarities between the viruses contracted by three of the four women. Professor Cunningham said three of the cases had a DNA sequencing signature that was not present in the experiment controls. Research had revealed a 70 to 80 per cent chance that the HIV virus sampled in the four women came from a common source, he told the tribunal. He said there were more than seven sub-families of the HIV virus and all of the women had a "type B" virus. Professor Cunningham said that if the women had not all had type B HIV they could not have been infected by the same source. The NSW Health Department alleges the four women, then aged 18, 31, 75 and 81, were cross-infected with HIV from a 61-year-old male patient known as Patient D.
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