More than 900 people treated at a private clinic near Paris have been offered HIV antibody tests after it was revealed that an elderly man had been found to be carrying the virus after he was treated by an HIV-infected medic. The Jacques Cartier clinic in Massy, in the south Paris suburbs, said it had written to 926 former patients offering them tests after finding that the 74-year-old man, who died of cardiovascular problems after routine heart surgery, was HIV-positive. An inquiry has been opened into the death of the man, who was found to be infected with the virus three months after his operation in October 2001. A routine HIV test given three days before the operation had been negative.
The clinic said in a statement that the inquiry, being carried out in collaboration with the health authorities, had ruled out the possibility of contamination from a blood transfusion. It also said that no incident causing exposure to the medic's own blood had been reported during the heart bypass and valve replacement operation. "At this point in the inquiry, a link between the two cases has not been formally established," the statement said. The hospital has not publicly identified the HIV-positive medic, who was one of 10 to 15 people present during the operation, and has not even indicated if the man in question is a doctor, nurse, surgeon, or anesthetist. He was discovered to be HIV-positive after the entire medical team was tested.