Local Man Concerned About Passing Disease on After Endoscopy Visit

While many clients of the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, are concerned about catching a virus, there are some who are also concerned about passing one along. Eye on Health spoke with a local man who's HIV positive and had a procedure at the center in question.

Las Vegas entertainer, Charlie Strachan is among thousands of local residents who were told they may have been exposed to hepatitis-C through the improper use of medical devices at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada. Strachan was referred to the center for tests two years ago.

"But it sounds to me like someone knew that this was happening and allowed it to happen. And that makes me extremely angry," he said.

Strachan has been through some major medical hurdles since testing positive for HIV in 1988. And while he's worried that contracting hepatitis-C would be a major setback, he's even more concerned that his own disease may have been passed to others.

Charlie Strachan, Entertainer: My first immediate reaction was -- oh my God, I'm HIV-positive. And I went to a center where they weren't doing safe practices, and I could have passed on the virus."

Las Vegas immunologist, Jerry Cade is an HIV/AIDS specialist. He says while anyone would be justifiably nervous over news of re-used syringes -- he says the fluids involved, according to his understanding of the case, were not pathogenic, such as blood or semen, and were not conducive to spreading either hepatitis or HIV.

"The risk is infinitesimally small. Even, even if everything wasn't perfect, the risk of really transmitting hep-C, hep-B or HIV in this manner is very, very, very small. And very, very, very unlikely," he said.

Cade says DNA testing could eventually pinpoint exactly where a disease has been contracted. Dr. Cade says knowing your HIV status is a good idea for anyone. And in this case, testing may give patients of the Endoscopy Center some extra piece of mind.


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