An unlicensed acupuncturist in Switzerland has been accused of intentionally infecting 16 people with the HIV virus for over a decade, authorities announced Thursday.
The unidentified man was indicted by a five-judge panel in Bern-Mitelland regional court on charges of intentionally spreading human disease and causing serious bodily harm, offenses that carry maximum penalties of five to 10 years respectively, said the regional prosecutor’s office in Bern, the Swiss capital.
A spokesman for the prosecutor, Christof Scheurer, said the man also practiced as an unlicensed, self-styled acupuncturist — a trade which he is believed to have used between 2001 and 2005 as a pretext to prick and infect some of his victims with blood that was infected with AIDS.
The police investigation concluded that the man had used various pretexts to prick his victims, but it remained unclear exactly what objects he had used. In other cases, the investigation found, the self-described healer — who is not HIV-positive — had served his victims drinks that made them pass out so he could infect them.
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Pretty awful stuff. Hard to even comprehend what sort of sick person would do such a thing. The probe was launched because of complaints. 16 people were infected and this is a common source but what is NOT clear is if he was intentionally infecting them or if poor practice was the cause. Regardless, his methods were not on the up and up, being unlicensed, unscientific, unsanitary and unethical. This would not be likely to happen in a modern facility even by accident because of regulations for sanitary conditions.