Indian Quack May Have Infected an Entire Village with HIV

Fake doctor suspected of infecting at least 33 people with HIV	 	 	 			syringe with vial

The villagers of Unnao, in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh, are reportedly having sleepless nights after a compulsory screening drive launched by the local administration have found majority infected with HIV. Twenty-one cases of the virus have been confirmed after the local government ordered screenings at the end of January.

Villagers said they never saw Yadav change the needles he used and health official Sushil Choudhury said that that was the likely cause of the spread of HIV.

Uttar Pradesh Health Minister has assured an investigation in the connection. The screening drive is being conducted after authorities came to know that a quack had injected them with a common syringe that could have strains of an HIV positive person's blood.

New HIV infections in the country have decreased by 46% since 2010 and the number of AIDS-related deaths has come down by 22% in the same period. "If proper tests are done, at least 500 cases would come up", Sunil Bangarmau, an area councillor, told ANI - a local news wire outlet. Villagers said he used the same syringe and needle in the name of cheaper treatment. India has a severe shortage of doctors and it is not uncommon for poor villagers to seek help from people like Yadav.

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'Patients have told us this man is about 35 years old and would go around on a bicycle, giving out pills and injections to treat colds, coughs and other ailments.

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

According to 2017 UNAIDS data, India has 2.1 million people living with HIV, which is about 0.26% of its population.

"We are investigating the matter and will arrest the accused soon", Singh said. Health directorate sources here said that action would also be taken against the district health officials for their failure to crack down on the quacks operating in the district.

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