During the past 17 months, as many as 2,234 persons across the country have been infected with HIV virus after blood transfusion due to unsafe transfusion practices, reveals data released by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).
Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 361 infected cases, while Gujarat, Maharashtra and New Delhi had 292, 276 and 264 cases, respectively.
NACO released the data in response to an RTI query filed by social activist Chetan Kothari.
This month, a minor Assamese boy got infected with the deadly virus after he received a blood transfusion at the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
According to NACO’s 2015 annual report, around 20.9 lakh people in were living with HIV/AIDS in 2011. Nearly 86 percent of these are in the 15-49 age-group.
A woman who went through a Cesarean operation in December last year got infected with the virus during a blood transfusion in Kasganj.
“Due to budget cuts, the government has been weakening on raising AIDS awareness. This is a serious issue, and the government needs to address it immediately,” said Kothari.
“NACO had collected around 30 lakh units of blood till September 2014. Around 84 percent of this blood comes through voluntary blood donation. And this is where the source of the problem is,” said Naresh Goyal, deputy director general, NACO.
As per law, it is mandatory to screen donors/donated blood for transmissible infections of HIV, HBV, Hepatitis C, malaria and syphilis, he added.