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PEI university lab tests could have put students at risk of contracting HIV

An official at the University of Prince Edward Island says the multiple usage of a blood testing device has prompted concerns that about 300 people may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

Christian Lacroix, the university's dean of science, says the students used the blood glucose testing device in two classes of a human physiology course from 2010 to 2012.

Mr. Lacroix says although procedures were followed to clean the spring-loaded device, which comes with a disposable needle, officials only recently learned that it is meant to be used multiple times by one person only.

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He says although the risk of transmission is low the university is in the process of contacting 295 students and eight student assistants and instructors to inform them that they may want to be tested for the blood-borne viruses.

Mr. Lacroix says to date, the school has confirmed contact with about 180 students.

He says the university is also in the process of examining its lab protocols.

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