Hundreds of hospital patients around Britain had to given blood tests after a doctor hid his HIV infection.
Gay medic Tamas Nyary went to great lengths to hide the infection because he felt he could not reveal his sexuality due to conservative views in his native Hungary.
When it finally emerged he had the virus, nearly 400 of his previous patients had to be tested, Nottingham Crown Court heard.
More than 200 patients from Nottingham had to be tested for HIV after a doctor lied about having the infection
A judge heard 45 year-old Nyary qualified as a doctor in Hungary and worked at 24 hospitals across the UK between 2010 and 2016, carrying out operations on some patients, NottinghamshireLive reported.
It is not known exactly when Nyary contracted the virus, but when applying to Nottingham University Hospitals Trust in 2013, he changed the date on a negative vaccination report from 2010 to 2012.
After working as an orthopedic fellow for the trust, he moved to Birmingham Heartlands Hospital.
In 2015 he is known to have taken a test at home and tested positive. He then submitted his own-blood for testing under the name of a patient in an apparent attempt to confirm the result of the home test.
But blood scientists at the lab which analysed the sample became suspicious, sparking an investigation which led to Nyary.
Meanwhile, the medic had moved on again, getting a job at Lincoln Hospital’s A&E department in 2016 by misleading NHS recruiting firm ED Staffing.
Authorities finally caught up with him and he was suspended after his HIV status became clear.
Rebecca Herbert, prosecuting, said he was suspended for falsely declaring his HIV status in order for him to get work. She added: ‘It is not necessarily so that someone who is HIV positive can’t have clearance.’
Patients he had treated in Nottingham, Chesterfield and Cornwall were then contacted and offered tests. The court heard some suffered ‘days of anxiety’ waiting for tests and results.
Nyary admitted a number of charges when he was brought before Nottingham Crown Court
After he was prosecuted, married Nyary admitted a number of offences including forgery, fraud and using a false instrument.
His lawyer Richard Posner told the court: ‘The way he thinks or believes people would feel about the homosexuality and the HIV infection, are something that are deep rooted in him and appear to have been a very significant contribution to him behaving in this way. It is irrational behaviour.
‘As I say, he could have continued to work. He may have been able to continue doing this sort of procedure. You have seen the level of viral infection was very low indeed.’
Handing Nyary a 12-month sentence, suspended for two years, Judge Stuart Rafferty QC said: ‘Mr Posner was right to say that to some extent, because of your embarrassment and because of the much more draconian society from which you came, revealing your homosexuality and revealing even the risk that you might be HIV positive was a step that you simply could not contemplate taking.
‘What has to be said on the other side, however, is that this was a course of dishonesty that went on for some years, beginning by you before you were certain you were HIV positive and continued afterwards.’