Two GNR officers, attacked by assailants in Quarteira, fear they may have become infected with the HIV virus after being stabbed with a syringe that could have contained contaminated blood. Police officers later arrested two men, aged 42 and 29, both of African origin, with criminal histories of robbery and drug trafficking. They were then tested for the presence of the virus, but the results will not be known for a month. Meanwhile, the officers who were stabbed were taken to Faro District Hospital for tests and are said to be “worried” about the results. The attacks occurred at 10pm after a GNR patrol was despatched to Quinta do Romão, an area between Quarteira and Vilamoura. An average of one burglary a day has been reported in recent weeks in this area, usually on unoccupied tourist homes.
A former officer had spotted three men acting suspiciously in a nearby house and had phoned the police. When the two officers arrived, two of the suspects, still carrying stolen goods, resisted arrest, while the third ran from the house in the direction of Bairro dos Pescadores. During the resulting confrontation the suspects threatened to kill the officers and claimed to be HIV positive. “We’re going to prison, but your life is ruined,” one of the assailants allegedly shouted at the officers just before the attacks. The father of one of the attackers has since confirmed that his son was a drug addict and HIV positive. This is not the first time that contaminated syringes have been used to threaten victims. A case was recorded in Setúbal in December 2003, when two drug addicts threatened taxi drivers with contaminated blood.