HIV results expected after botched tests

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, June 11 (UPI) -- Students and staff at a Canadian school were awaiting test results to determine if they contracted HIV or hepatitis from improperly administered diabetes tests.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported 80 students and staff at the aboriginal Southeast Collegiate high school in Winnipeg, Manitoba, had their fingers pricked with the same glucose meter during a diabetes test last month by a University of Manitoba faculty member.


The professor, a member of the pediatrics and child health department at the university's medical school, replaced the lancet, or pricking needle, for each person but the glucose meter -- also known as a glucometer pen -- is not meant to be used on more than one person, university officials told the Canadian broadcaster last week.

Use of the same glucose meter led to concerns among health officials of a slight risk of students and staff contracting human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS, or hepatitis.

The CBC said results from HIV and hepatitis B and C tests for 50 of the 80 students and staff were expected Monday.

Michael Yellowback, the Manto-Sipi Cree First Nation chief whose teenage son is being tested, said even if his son's tests for HIV and hepatitis come back negative, his son will have be tested again in six months.


"We have to wait another six months before the second round of tests have to be done," he said. "That's another six months of anxiety that we have to endure."

The University of Manitoba faculty member who administered the diabetes test came to the boarding school for aboriginal students as part of diabetes awareness day on May 4 but is not a physician and was not authorized by the university to conduct blood-sugar tests, officials said.

The faculty member has been disciplined, said Dr. Cheryl Rockman-Greenberg, head of the university's pediatrics and child health department.

Latest Headlines