Students’ anxious wait over HIV tests

Laura Freeman had to have further blood tests after taking part in a routine blood sugar test as part of her college course.
Laura Freeman had to have further blood tests after taking part in a routine blood sugar test as part of her college course.
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NINETY students needed to be screened for diseases such as HIV after allegations over a Doncaster College education project.

A student is understood to have claimed that a needle used to prick students’ skin as part of an activity involving testing for diabetes was not changed, back in 2009.

Former students are now being advised to undergo screening at East Laith Gate House in East Laith Date.

In a statement, college principal George Trow said: “An allegation has been made by a former student that they contracted a blood borne infection whilst studying at Doncaster College a number of years ago.

“The allegation remains unsubstantiated. However this is a serious situation and my priority is the health and welfare of staff, students and members of the public.

“I understand that this may be a stressful time for the students and their families and we are making every effort to deal with the situation as quickly as possible.”

Dr Wendy Phillips, director and consultant in communicable diseases control for South Yorkshire Health Protection Agency, said there would have been a small risk that blood borne infections could be passed from person to person using the sort of equipment involved.

She said the agency had advised the college to take a precautionary approach.

All those who were involved in the exercise have now been sent letters advising them to be tested.

The letters advise former students to have tests for HIV and hepatitis.

Former health and social care student Laura Freeman, from Askern, was among those receiving letters.

The 18-year-old said she faced an anxious wait for the results of the tests.

Laura said that she was told at the clinic they had screened around 90 people, which she added fitted with the three classes which were involved in the diabetes activity at the college.

She said: “I’m stressed out and can’t stop worrying. I’m all over the place.”