WASHINGTON — In the first report of its kind, a New York dentist has been infected by the AIDS virus, apparently from contact with a patient, a doctor said today.
Dr. Robert S. Klein said in a report prepared for the Third International Conference on AIDS that the unidentified dentist was the only one out of 1,231 dental professionals tested since October, 1985, to have evidence of AIDS infection.
Klein, from the Montefiore Medical Center in New York, said the Manhattan dentist said he had only intermittently used gloves and taken other precautions while treating patients.
"He reported that he frequently practiced without gloves, even though he often had obvious breaks in his skin," the report said. "He never treated a patient known to have AIDS but had treated individuals known to be at increased risk for AIDS."
AIDS cannot be spread by casual contact but health authorities say it can be spread by blood-to-blood contact.
Klein said confidential interviews with the dentist revealed that his only sexual contacts had been with his wife for more than 12 years. She denied in a separate confidential interview having sexual contacts with anyone other than her husband for the same period.
The report said the dentist denied any sex with men, illicit use of drugs or transfusions of blood products. The wife also said she had not abused drugs or had transfusions.