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Scottish dentist sacked for failing to reveal HIV positive status

August 5, 2014

A dentist living with HIV has been sacked after he failed to disclose his positive status to bosses.

Harry Robertson, who worked at the Kelburne Dental Surgery in Paisley, was removed from the dental register following a hearing of the General Dental Council.

Health chiefs said the dentist had to be suspended over “dishonest conduct” when he failed to disclose his HIV status.

STV reports more than 10,000 patients who visited the surgery have been given blood tests after they were told there was a “very slight” risk they had been exposed to the virus.

But the health board is still trying to trace 500 patients who still haven’t been tested.

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said “the vast majority” of patients were contacted by letter to inform them they would need to be tested.

She said: “There were people we could not trace because they had moved from the area and we conducted a public awareness campaign in the hope these people would present for testing.

“Ultimately, however, it was down to a personal decision by individuals on whether to respond to our appeal for testing. Not a single person was found to have caught HIV as a result of dental treatment.”

Figures released in November last year by Public Health England showed HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) at an all-time high.

Up to 100,000 people in the UK are living with HIV but around a quarter of them are unaware they are infected.

Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to be disproportionately affected by the spread of HIV; accounting for almost half of all new cases.

The ban preventing HIV positive NHS staff from performing certain medical procedures was scrapped in England, Wales and Scotland last year.

Healthcare workers with HIV face no restrictions but must be on a register and monitored every three months by doctors to ensure they are on the correct treatment and that their viral load is undetectable.

More: Dentist, HIV, HIV-positive, Paisley, Scotland, Scotland

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