Unlicensed doctor on the run after infecting 40 people with HIV

The official said that more health camps were organised in the area to ascertain if more people had contracted HIV thereafter. PTI Image for Representation

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. Reacting to the reports of 40 positive cases of HIV, the medical superintendent said that the concerned authorities have been alerted a future course of action is being designed.

Government health officials are offering free HIV treatment to all the people who were infected.

"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.

A case against quack Rajendra Kumar has been registered in Bangarmau police station, the chief medical officer said.

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

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A team visited Premganj and Chakmirpur areas of Bangarmau and filed a report, based on which screening camps were held at three places on January 24, 25 and 27.

He is a quack, Choudhary said.

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. Of those, 9,100 were youngsters under age 15.

Critics have in the past blamed a lack of stringent criminal penalties that allow quacks to thrive. "We are mapping truck drivers who come there and offer treatment to them also", said Siddhartha Nath Singh, UP health minister.

The therapy involves a combination of anti-retroviral drugs to suppress HIV and stop its progression.

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At the end of 2016, it was reported that 2.1 million Indian citizens were living with HIV.

"We are investigating the matter and will arrest the accused soon", Singh said.

"Desperate people find desperate ways to get health care, " he said.

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 a lot of them infected with HIV.

He said that awareness camps will be organised there to prevent this.

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