MANCHESTER, England -- A 29-year-old man with AIDS was the first person in Britain ordered confined in a hospital under a new anti-AIDS law because he posed a risk to the community, officials said Sunday.
Health officials said the man, detained in an isolation unit at Monsall Hospital in Manchester, suffers from 'copious bleeding' but had wanted to leave the hospital.
A magistrate's court in a five-minute hearing over the weekend ordered the man's continued stay at the hospital for three weeks under a law that took effect in March designed to halt the spread of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It had not been used before.
Health officials acknowledged most AIDS patients pose no risk to the community at large.
But Dr. Donald Acheson, the government's chief medical officer, said in this case the patient posed a risk to the community and himself if he was not detained in a hospital.
'This patient is unfortunately bleeding copiously from a large number of places and he is very ill,' he said. 'And it was felt in these circumstances it would be risky for him to leave the hospital.'
Acheson said the man has since agreed t was in his best interest to stay hospitalized.
Dr. Anna Jones, Manchester city medical officer, had told the court his release from hospital 'would be most dangerous.'
About 200 people in Britain have contracted AIDS, which strips its victims of their immune system and opens them to a variety of infections and cancers.
About half of those have died and the government passed the Public Health Control of Diseases Act to confine people in a 'dangerously infectious state' in an effort to combat the spread of AIDS.