19 primary schoolchildren on HIV drugs after prank with needle

After an 8-year-old girl pricked her schoolmates with her mother's diabetes-testing needle nineteen primary school students have had to be been placed on drugs to fight HIV because one child in a group of nineteen was discovered to be HIV positive.

Although authorities say the odds of the needle transmitting the virus to the other children were extremely low, the drugs should reduce the amount of the virus in their blood or slow the progress of the disease. The drugs do not cure HIV infection or prevent transmission of the virus and experts have ruled out the possibility that the child who tested positive for the virus could have been infected by the needle prick.

Roger Pomerantz, head of the infectious-disease division at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia says the drugs will stop the virus setting up in body cells if it has been contacted.

Officials say the girl at Taylor Elementary school was suspended and will probably be moved to another school, it is unclear why she pricked the students.

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