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Wisconsin nurse may have exposed thousands to HIV, hepatitis

by nickj on August 30, 2011

A registered nurse working at a string of clinics in Wisconsin may have exposed up to 2,345 patients to infectious diseases such as hepatitis or HIV, Reuters reports. The nurse worked at a number of Dean Clinic locations, most of which were located in Dane County, Wisconsin, between 2006 and 2011.

Working as a certified diabetic educator, the nurse demonstrated to diabetic patients the proper way to inject themselves with insulin using an insulin pen. She also educated the patients on how to use a finger stick device to test blood sugar levels. However, the nurse did not practice proper disposal techniques by failing to change devices between patients. While she did dispose of the needles, infected blood may have stuck to the devices themselves.

Normally, the devices would be demonstrated on a non-living object, such as an orange. However, this nurse was demonstrating on her patients.

"We are taking all precautionary steps to test all of the patients even though the risk level is low," Chief Executive of the Dean clinics Dr. Craig Samitt told the news source in a telephone interview. He added that the clinic was striving to cast "the net as broadly as we possibly can."

This incident isn't the only HIV scare in the news. The Los Angeles Times reports that recently an adult film performer tested positive for HIV, which caused adult film productions throughout the L.A. area to shut down until the test results are confirmed.

A spokeswoman for the Free Speech Coalition, Diane Duke, first became aware of the potential outbreak on Saturday. The group is notifying all performers who may have been sex partners with the actor.

In July, the Free Speech Coalition launched a new testing database for pornography actors which aims to collate test results from a variety of clinics that routinely see adult film actors. 

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