PHILADELPHIA, (AP) - Nineteen elementary schoolchildren who were pricked with a needle
by another student are taking strong drugs to fight HIV after one
of the children tested positive for the virus, officials said.
Although authorities said the odds of the other children getting
HIV from the needle were extremely low, the drugs would reduce
the amount of the virus in the blood or slow the progress of the
disease. The drugs do not cure HIV or prevent its transmission.
"It may be in there, but it never gets a chance to set up cells
in your body," said Roger Pomerantz, head of the
infectious-disease division at Jefferson Medical College.
The 8-year-old girl who stuck her Taylor Elementary schoolmates
Wednesday was suspended and will probably be moved to another
school, officials said. They were unsure why she pricked the
other students with her mother's diabetes testing needle.
Authorities have ruled out the possibility that the child who
tested positive for the virus, which causes AIDS, could have been
infected by the needle prick.