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Former Arizona medical worker accused of stealing syringes tests positive for HIV

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

PHOENIX — A former medical worker who was employed in Arizona who was accused of stealing painkiller syringes has tested positive for HIV.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver released the information Wednesday about Rocky Allen as part of a plea for patients who may have been infected by him to be tested.

Allen was employed in Phoenix from July 28, 2014 to Sept. 26, 2014. He was terminated from his position as a surgery technician at a Valley hospital for testing positive for the use of a controlled substance.

Authorities haven’t previously described Allen’s health status. Court officials only referred to a “blood-borne pathogen” during a hearing in February when he pleaded not guilty to stealing medicine at Swedish Medical Center in suburban Denver. There have been no reported cases of HIV among the approximately 2,500 people tested there.

Authorities in Colorado said the fear is that he may have replaced the needles intended for patients with syringes he previously used, making it possible for patients to be infected.

Although the Phoenix hospital has indicted there were no patients affected Allen’s actions, John C. Lincoln Medical Center is offering free testing as to patients who received a surgery during the time Allen was employed.

Allen also worked in California and Washington.

KTAR’s Brian Rackham and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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