Doctor who died was HIV positive, confirms Trust

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A junior doctor who died suddenly at a Devon hospital last week was HIV positive, the local health trust confirmed last night. The doctor died after falling ill but the actual cause of death has yet to be established, said the Royal Devon and Exeter Healthcare NHS Trust. A Trust statement said the Exeter coroner had confirmed the doctor was HIV positive.

The doctor worked at the hospital between 15 and 19 July, 1996, and between 5 and 7 February this year. On both occasions he worked in gynaecology and obstetrics departments.

Seven patients seen by the doctor in Exeter were being contacted by the Trust. According to the director of public health for the local North and Eastern Health Authority, Dr Mike Owen, they were the only ones about whom there could be any legitimate concern.

Dr Owen said last night there was natural concern among the public that a health worker who had HIV was likely to pass on the infection to people he had been treating, but he stressed that the risk was "absolutely minute".

The doctor is understood to be 28-year-old Nigerian, Olukayude Fasawe. Before coming to Exeter he worked at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital Trust and the Frimley Park NHS Trust in Surrey.