Indian doctor infect 21 with HIV by using contaminated syringes and needles

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Investigations into a sudden surge in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected patients in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh revealed that the patients were administered injections using a single infected syringe, officials said Tuesday.

Police in Uttar Pradesh state's Unnao district filed a complaint against Rajendra Yadav, who fled the region in anticipation of arrest, the district's chief medical officer S.P. Choudhary told dpa on the phone.

Villagers in the area said they rarely saw the fake doctor change his needles, which is likely what prompted the spread of HIV. "The matter came to light after the health department launched an investigation following reports of "high number of HIV cases" in the area".

With India's health care system facing a massive shortage of doctors and hospitals, millions of poor people seek fake doctors for cheap treatment.

India at the end of 2016 had an estimated 2.1 million people living with HIV, according to UNAIDS.

Five of those infected were children, mostly under the age of 12 years. India has registered a 20 per cent annual decline in new infections over the past few years, according to the report.

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At least 10 people have been tested positive for HIV in Chakmirpur village.

It was reported that Yadav would visit patients at their homes and give injections for nearly all ailments for meagre payments. The CMO said the doctors checked 566 people in Bangarmau and its adjoining villages, where 21 were found HIV positive.

The affected persons have been admitted to the Kanpur medical college and were being counselled and treated there, the minister said.

Mehtab Alam, an undertaking administrator for Raza Hussain Memorial Charitable Trust, said that fake doctors don't utilize expendable syringes, rather utilizing glass syringes and one needle to infuse several patients. HIV, if untreated, causes AIDS. Villagers whined that he would give infusions for all afflictions for small installments, Choudhury said.

"Villagers are unmindful about cleanliness", he said.

The HIV targets the immune system and weakens people's defence systems against infections and some types of cancer.

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