People with no apparent risk factors


Clusters of transmission of HIV or hepatitis C through artificial insemination, blood product [1]and through minor surgical procedures[2-6] have occasionally been identified through contact tracing in Australia. The management of these cases requires:

  1. Exclusion of sexual partners as sources of infection for the index patient
  2. Expert reassessment of the risk history of individuals
  3. Pooling of data on cases
  4. Detailed review of the investigation
  5. Specialised techniques of characterising viral isolates

Given the organisational, medico-legal and social complexity of these investigations, such patients should be referred to specialist services for contact tracing.

Blood-Product and Tissue Recipients

Specialist contact tracing is required because of the legal context and special features of the blood and organ donation system. Contact the central blood bank or tissue bank in the relevant jurisdiction (Australian state or territory, New Zealand).


  1. The Kirby Institute UNSW Sydney, and The Australian Red Cross Blood Service; Transfusion-transmissible infections in Australia: 2017 Surveillance Report 2017 Accessed 23.09.2021 at
  2. Communicable Diseases Branch Health Protection NSW and NSW Public Health Units; Investigation into the Impact of Infection Control Breaches at Four Sydney Dental Clinics
  3. Chenoweth C; Why are we still isolating Hepatitis B patients? Are guidelines based on evidence or tradition? ACIPC Conference 2019
  4. The Department of Health and Human Services Victoria; Sonoun Kimlee Salon investigation 2018 Internet accessed 23.09.2021 at
  5. Bronowichi J-P; Venard V; Botte C; et al; Patient-to-Patient Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus during Colonoscopy August 1997 New England Journal of Medicine 337(4):237-40  DOI: 10.1056/NEJM199707243370404
  6. Department of Health Victoria, Health Protection Branch; Surveillance of notifiable infectious diseases in Victoria, 2009 Annual report 2009 blood-borne viruses Ch3 pg 9 Accessed 27.10.2022 at:


Page last updated October 2022