Thousands of Sydney dental patients may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis, according to health authorities.

A New South Wales (NSW) Health spokesman said at least 11,000 patients of two dental operators were at “low risk” because of poor cleaning and sterilisation practices.
Patients who had invasive procedures at four practices in the Sydney region could be at risk.

Authorities said they are now contacting all of those patients. HIV and Hepatitis are blood-borne infectious diseases. The clinics were operated by Gentle Dental clinics at Campsie in Sydney’s south-west and in the central business district, and by Dr Robert Starkenburg at Surry Hills and Bondi Junction.

Local media reports said the 75-year-old Dr Starkenburg, who was stood down by the Australian Dental Council on 2 December 2014, admitted his hygiene practices may have been “lax at times”. (BBC)