‘Unsterile injections’ led to Unnao HIV outbreak

Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 5

Use of unsterile injections among people visiting integrated HIV counselling and testing centres in UP’s Unnao caused a sudden unexplained surge of the infection in 2017 and 2018, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has found.

The ICMR revelation on the cause of the Unnao HIV spread has been published in the latest edition of acclaimed journal Plos One.

The findings call for availability of auto-disabled needles and syringes at all HIV test centres.

The experts attributed the HIV surge in Unnao to unsafe injection exposure during treatment-seeking and receipt of intramuscular injection in past five years. The study came after the integrated counselling and testing centre (ICTC) located in the district hospital, Unnao, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) witnessed an increased detection of HIV among its attendees in 2017 and 2018.

“While there was a sevenfold rise of HIV among ICTC attendees of Hasanganj, the rise in Unnao district hospital was twofold and was tenfold at ICTC-Nawabganj,” experts said.

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