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Man Contracted AIDS From Bite, Officials Say

October 28, 1995|From Associated Press

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida health officials say a 91-year-old man contracted the AIDS virus from the bite of a prostitute who was attempting to rob him, but they believe the virus was transmitted by blood from her bleeding gums, not saliva.

Investigators working for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta matched the strain of HIV infecting prostitute Naomi Morrison with that of Elmer Hutto, whom she bit on a hand, arm and leg last year. Morrison is serving a 10-year sentence for aggravated battery, robbery and burglary of a vehicle in the August, 1994, attack.

Hutto, now 92, has not developed AIDS-related symptoms.

A spokeswoman for the CDC said: "We have not confirmed that the route of transmission was a bite."

However, Michelle Lagos, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, said: "It was the first transmission by a bite." But "it was blood-to-blood, which is not groundbreaking."

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