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Uttar Pradesh: 21 found HIV+ as quack uses infected syringe

By Deepika
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    At least 21 people, who had been treated by a quack, tested positive for HIV infection in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district, about 60 km from here.

    Image for representation only

    According to sources, the victims got infected with HIV after the quack used the same needle to inject drugs in many patients. The quack went absconding after an FIR was registered.

    Chief medical officer Dr SP Chaudhary said the matter came to light after the health department launched a probe following reports of "high number of HIV cases" in the area.

    "Seeing the high number cases, the health department constituted a two-member committee which visited various hamlets of Bangarmau to investigate the reasons behind the spike," he said.

    The infections came to light when an NGO, which organised a series of health camps in the area in November 2017, found HIV-positive symptoms in some people.

    Chaudhary said the team visited Premganj and Chakmirpur areas of Bangarmau and filed a report, based on which screening camps were held at three places (in Bangarmau) on January 24, January 25 and January 27.

    "In the camps, 566 people were examined of whom 21 were found to be infected with HIV," the CMO said.

    He said the probe also found that quack Rajendra Kumar, living in a neighbouring village, had used a single syringe for injection in the name of cheaper treatment. "This was the reason behind the significant rise in the number HIV cases."

    A case against the quack has been registered in Bangarmau police station, the CMO said.

    He said the patients have been referred to Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) centre in Kanpur.

    ART consists of a combination of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to maximally suppress the HIV and stop its progression.

    Sidharth Nath Singh, Uttar Pradesh Health Minister said, "It's being investigated. Action will be taken against culprits and those who practice without license. Since it's a transit point, HIV carriers are likely to come there. So we're mapping truck drivers who come there and offer treatment to them."

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