At least 21 people in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao were tested positive for HIV that causes AIDS after a quack allegedly used a same syringe to administer injections to all of them.
Unnao’s chief medical officer Dr SP Chaudhary said the human immunodeficiency virus cases were detected 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.
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 from January 24 to 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 found that Rajendra Kumar, a resident of a neighbouring village, used a single syringe for injecting the people in the name of cheaper treatment.
“This was the reason behind the significant rise in the number HIV cases.”
A case has been registered against Kumar in Bangarmau police station, the officer said.
The patients have been referred to antiretroviral therapy (ART) centre in Kanpur under which a combination of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs are administered to maximally suppress the HIV and stop its progression, Chaudhary said.
ART also prevents the onward transmission of HIV, he added.
State health minister Sidharth Nath Singh said the matter is being investigated.
“Action will be taken against culprits and those who practice without a 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,” Singh said.