The man, whose name is being withheld to protect his daughter's identity, said that the girl has been undergoing blood transfusions every fortnight at the District Hospital in Mananthavady. He explained that since his daughter is suffering from thalassaemia, periodic blood transfusion was necessary ever since she was just two years old. Sometimes the girl was brought to the Calicut Medical College Hospital in this connection.
After blood tests revealed that she is HIV positive in July 2012, doctors conducted tests on her parents and her five-year-old brother who too suffers from thalassaemia. However, all three of them tested negative for the dreaded virus. This meant that the girl had been administered contaminated blood at either the District Hospital or the Calicut Medical College Hospital.
Though the girl's family approached the District Medical Officer (DMO), their appeal for an enquiry into the matter fell on deaf ears. Given the social stigma attached to HI, the family chose not to make an issue out of it at that time. Earlier this week, they finally decided to lodge a complaint with the state Health Minister VS Sivakumar.
On Wednesday, activists of the Democratic Youth Federation of India and the girl's relatives staged a protest at the District Medical Office. The DMO clarified that the AIDS Control Society was informed as soon as the family informed about the blood of a HIV infected person being inadvertently administered to the girl, but officials of the society ruled out a probe.
Calicut Medical College Hospital Superintendent Dr MK Ravindran said that the likelihood of the girl having been afflicted with the deadly virus through blood transfusion is very small.
Citing a series of tests which are carried out before the medical college hospital accepts blood from any person, he added that HIV transmission through transfusion is only possible in the window period (the short time period when the donor despite being infected with HIV tests negative in screening tests and therefore hospital staff end up inadvertently collecting contaminated blood).