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Surgeon with HIV `no risk'

A surgeon with the HIV virus yesterday said the risk to his patients would be "infinitesimally small" if he was allowed to return to the operating theatre.

Professor George Browning, a leading ear specialist and the United Kingdom's first surgeon publicly known to be HIV-positive, said he was optimistic about being able to return.

"I would be delighted, not just for me but for the patients," said Prof Browning, who said his patients and colleagues supported the move.

An advisory panel was now considering his request, he told BBC Radio Scotland.

He said he had made his request on the basis that with his specialist micro-surgery - mainly carried out with a microscope - there was a very low risk of him infecting a patient, and only an "infinitesimally small" risk of him cutting himself.

He believed the panel would ultimately conclude that the risks were minimal - "and could virtually be forgotten".