182 people in Maha got HIV from blood transfusion: govt

, 8:41 PM IST

Mumbai: As many as 182 people have contracted the deadly HIV virus through blood transfusion in the last one and a half years in Maharashtra, the state government today said.

NCP’s Prakash Gajbhiye had sought to know veracity of the statistics given by the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) in a media report, which said 2,234 people across the country and 276 in Maharashtra contracted the dreaded virus through the contaminated blood during this period.

“If these figures are correct, which blood banks have been involved in the transfusion (of contaminated blood)? Has the government conducted any inquiry against them?” he asked.

In a written response in the Legislative Council, Health Minister Deepak Sawant said the actual number of people who contracted HIV through transfusion in the last one and a half years in the state was 182.

“The figures are based on voluntary disclosure by patients at the Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres. Patients (sometimes) claim to have been infected by HIV-AIDS due to transfusion owing to the social stigma and guilt feeling attached to the disease (contracted otherwise).

“Only after we get specific information about the blood bank where the transfusion took place resulting in transmission of the disease, action can be taken,” he said.

Sawant further said that due to counselling/training provided to blood bank officials, counsellors and test lab officials, number of cases of HIV infection due to contaminated blood transfusion had decreased.