Kerala girl who 'tested' HIV+ after blood transfusion dies

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Kerala girl who 'tested' HIV+ after blood transfusion dies ALAPPUZHA: The nine-yearold girl suffering from blood cancer, who was suspected to have contracted HIV, allegedly during blood transfusion at the Regional Cancer Centre where she was under treatment, died at Alappuzha Medical College Hospital on Wednesday. Dr Sreelatha P R, pediatrics department, MCH said that the girl died of leukemia. “She was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday and her condition was very serious,” the doctor said.

The girl’s father said she was taken to the RCC after the doctors at the MCH diagnosed her with leukemia in February, 2017. The treatment for leukemia began on March 1, 2017. While she was under treatment at RCC the girl underwent blood transfusion several times. The girl was tested positive for HIV in August, 2017. “On October 5, our child was taken to a lab in Chennai for a detailed HIV test. However, the lab report said she was not HIV positive. The doctors at RCC said it was not a final report and they can confirm the presence of HIV only after getting a report from Delhi. But the doctors have not given that report us till date,” he said.

The girl’s father said she was discharged from the RCC on November 1last year. “After that she was never taken to the RCC. We followed ayurveda treatment. But it did not work her. She was under the treatment of doctors at Alappuzha MCH. On Wednesday, her condition became serious and we took her to the MCH. But she died,” he said. The funeral will be held on Thursday.

Dr Ramesh R, project director of the Kerala State AIDS Control Society (KSACS), said the blood samples of the girl were tested in the lab of General Hospital, Tambaram in Chennai but the lab could not find viral load in her blood samples. “We forwarded the report to National AIDS Control Organization (NACO). They did not advice treatment for HIV as the Chennai lab could not find viral load. We were planning to conduct a repeat HIV test on her in CMC Vellore after some months,” he said.

The Medical College police in Thiruvananthapuram in September 2017 had registered case and launched a probe after receiving a complaint from the girl’s parents in this regard. The KSACS, which conducted a probe into the incident, has given a clean chit to the RCC authorities and the report of the KSACS said that the blood given to the nine-yearold girl during transfusion at RCC in Thiruvananthapuram was tested before the procedure and HIV was not detected. Report of KSACS however pointed out that RCC was not equipped to detect the virus during the window period.

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