Lifestyle & Belief

Swiss "healer" charged over sticking people with HIV-infected needles


A Swiss "healer" has been charged with transmitting HIV to 16 patients using acupuncture needles.


Mark Ralston

A Swiss "healer" has been accused of transmitting HIV to patients over many years near the nation's capital Bern.

It is believed that the so-called "healer" infected at least 16 people with the HIV virus between 2001 and 2005.

Le Matin said that the man owned a music school and was a self-styled acupuncturist by night.

Many of his victims attended the school where the man convinced them to try acupuncture.

Other victims were said to have been given drinks to make them pass out before sticking them.

More from GlobalPost: HIV-positive women were sterilized without consent, court rules

The man was charged Thursday with intentionally spreading human disease and causing serious bodily harm, crimes that have maximum penalties of five and 10 years respectively, according to the Associated Press.

It is not believed that the man himself is HIV positive.

A Swiss hospital in the region uncovered the twisted crime after coming into contact with several HIV-positive people who said they had been stuck by the man.

The investigation has been going on since 2005, said Le Matin, but took years to complete since privacy laws have made finding victims difficult.