Boy Tested for HIV After Being Poked by Needle

Boy Tested for HIV After Being Poked by Needle

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A 5-year-old boy will undergo months of testing for HIV after his mother said he was poked by a syringe he found lying in a suburban Wal-Mart store.

Tami Bustillos brought two syringes to the police department June 17, claiming her son found them near a plant in the store's garden center the previous day, West Jordan Police Capt. Gary Cox said Thursday.

She took the boy to a hospital emergency room immediately after he broke his skin with one of the needles. The child will have to undergo six months of testing for Hepatitis B and HIV because the needle appeared dirty and used, she said.

"I just care about my little boy. I want this taken care of," she told KSL Radio. Bustillos did not immediately return phone messages left at her home by The Associated Press.

Police took the needles that Bustillos provided to the health department to be screened for blood-borne pathogens or anything that would create a health problem, Cox said.

"We have no indication they were used in an illegal manner at this particular time," said Cox, who expected test results next week.

But police were trying to determine why the needles, the type commonly used by diabetics, were discarded in the garden center and who might have been responsible.

Wal-Mart and its insurance company also were investigating, but a spokeswoman for the discount retailer declined to comment further.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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