Source: The Australian, 1 September, 1994, p.5


Common HIV source
in 4 women '80 pc
likely'

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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