updated 6/10/2010 9:43:53 AM ET 2010-06-10T13:43:53

Swiss authorities are investigating whether an acupuncturist intentionally infected at least 15 people with HIV.

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The case came to light when Swiss tabloid Blick reported this week that authorities had yet to complete a preliminary investigation that started five years ago in Bern canton (state).

Investigating magistrate Hermann Fleischhackl told The Associated Press on Thursday that the investigation was launched after one alleged victim filed a criminal complaint in 2005.

He says 19 HIV-infected people had contact with the unidentified acupuncturist.

Fleischhackl says he will decide by next year whether to recommend the man be formally charged with multiple cases of intentionally spreading a human disease and causing serious bodily harm.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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