Unlicensed doctor infects at least 33 people with HIV in India

Kristen Gonzales
February 7, 2018

An Indian health official says a fake doctor treating poor villagers for colds, coughs and diarrhea has infected at least 21 of them with HIV by using contaminated syringes and needles. "During another screening in November, another 13 were reported", Chief Medical Officer Dr SP Chaudhary said.

"During a routine screening from April to July, 12 HIV positive cases were reported from Bangarmau alone".

According to a health camp report from November previous year at least 40 positive cases have been reported from Unnao.

"The patients had informed health officials that they developed the condition after being injected by the quack, who used a single syringe to inject all his patients", the letter, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, said. HIV, if untreated, causes AIDS. The state government has registered a case against the fake doctor, Rajendra Kumar, and has intensified efforts to arrest him.

Choudhary said he was not sure how numerous 33 cases were connected to Kumar, but that an investigation by a state government committee was continuing. Out of those, 9,100 were children under the age of 15.

The small outbreak comes amid a massive shortage of doctors and hospitals in India.

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The Indian Medical Association estimates that about 45% of the people in India who practice medicine have no formal training.

At present, India has an estimated 2.1 million people living with HIV.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh has assured a proper investigation into the matter.

"We are in the process of recording the statements of the victims and trying to nab the quack", Bangarmau police inspector Arun Kumar Singh said. Some reports, however, said almost 40 people were infected with the disease.

P.K. Dohre, the medical superintendent of the local community health centre, said that as per information gathered from the affected persons, the accused quack would visit the villages on a bicycle, and conduct his business sitting on the porch of a high school. "So we are also mapping truck drivers", he said.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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