Less than 3 ‘infected’ with HIV by Oklahoma dentist

You have probably heard about the case of the Oklahoma dentist whose lax sterilisation methods prompted an investigation as to whether anyone was infected from rusty tools.

Despite wide alarm about HIV risk, only less than 3 of 60 patients were found to be HIV+. The Daily Mail article with the headline “60 dental patients test positive for Hepatitis or HIV after dentist ‘reused needles and operated with rusty tools”’ – indicating as if there could be an even split of hepatitis and HIV infection – says:

“The department notes the possibility that some that test positive may not be related to the dental procedures at the Harrington practice.”

At less than 3 infections because “The exact number of those testing positive for HIV is not being disclosed due to a Data Security Policy against reporting numbers less than three, according to the department”, we could assume that there is only one and that that is likely a false-positive that may be related to some other medical issue.

“Health officials say a patient of Harrington’s with no known risk factors first tested positive for both hepatitis C and HIV after a visit to his practice earlier this year.”

I’m not defending Harrington, but I don’t see how he could ever transmit HIV from his equipment when it is known to die quickly when exposed to air.