More than 5,000 dental patients are being contacted today because a practitioner who treated them was infected with HIV.

More than 5,000 dental patients are being contacted today because a practitioner who treated them was infected with HIV.

The dentist, who worked at surgeries in the Colchester, Clacton-on-Sea and Southend areas of Essex, stopped earlier this year after becoming aware of the infection.

The north and south Essex health authorities said surgeries had strict infection control procedures and the risk to patients was "very small". But it had checked records to identify all patients treated by the dentist and was offering them counselling and a saliva test for HIV.

Dr Paul Watson, director of public health for north Essex, said: "The chances of a patient being infected with HIV while they receive treatment are minuscule but we do feel that people should be informed and offered a confidential test if they want it."

Comments