20 found HIV+ as quack treats them with same needle

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's health schemes seem to have been flushed down the toilet after at least 40 cases of people suffering from HIV were reported from Bangarmau in Unnao district, UP.

Chaudhary said, "Seeing the high number cases, the health department constituted a two-member committee which visited various settlements of Bangarmau to investigate the reasons behind the spike".

According to Chief medical officer to the Unnao District, Sushil Choudhury, authorities remain unsure about how many people Yadav had infected before he fled. "In these camps, out of 566 people 21 were found to be infected with HIV", the CMO said.

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

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

Bangarmau, where the fake doctor practiced, has a higher rate of HIV when compared to adjoining areas that reported nearly no cases, Choudhary said. "He used a single syringe on all of them", said Bangarmau.

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"An investigation showed that nearly all of them had taken injections from one person", Choudhury said.

Twenty-one cases of the virus were confirmed during government-organized screening camps at the end of January, according to Choudhary.

A case has been registered against the quack at Bangarmau police station, the CMO said.

"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. "Later, we organised camps and conducted tests on over 500 people and found that 20 had been infected". Action will be taken against the culprits and those who practice medicine without the license.

The villagers said they once in a while observed Yadav changing the needles. "So we are also mapping truck drivers", he said. Which is what likely sparked the small outbreak of HIV.

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