Here's why 5,000 people in UP are living in fear of contracting HIV

33 people were tested HIV positive last month

Residents of three villages in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh are living in constant fear of being tested positive for HIV. For over a year, Rajesh Yadav, pretending to be a doctor, went around the locality in order to administer his special treatment – an injection using the same syringe that had been used for an HIV patient.

Thirty three people from the neighbourhood have already tested positive and health professionals are of the opinion that the spike in HIV infections (46 cases of HIV in the last few months) may have increased over the last 10 months due to this reason, The Indian Express reported.

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Health professionals are of the opinion that a spike in HIV infections may have caused due this reason/Representational Image. Courtesy: The Indian Express.

What happened?

Yadav, who set up his road side clinic in the premises of an old Sanskrit school, has apparently injected many from the locality with infected syringes that he just washed with water before reusing. Yadav administered these injections to at least 50 people a day.

Acting almost as a messiah for the people of the villages, Yadav provided his treatment for Rs 10 to unsuspecting villagers, who were unable to afford government medicines, The Times of India reported.

The cases were identified when a health camp was held on January 24, 25 and 26 at the three villages – Premganj, Chakmirpur and Kirwidiyapur. While authorities claim that the locals would go to Yadav because of general illiteracy, the case throws up the larger issues of corruption and insufficient facilities at the medical facilities, according to a report by The Hindu.

The fake doctor administered the “treatment” to about 50 people a day/Representational Image. Courtesy: The Indian Express.

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What’s happening now?

The ones who tested HIV positive have been redirected to Kanpur’s Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) centre. On January 31, an FIR has been registered by Dr Pramod KumarDohrey, who is the medical superintendent of a community health centre at Bangarmau.

Yadav, the quack, was arrested on Wednesday from a relative’s house, . Ambrish Bhadauria, circle officer of Bangarmau, told The Indian Express, “The FIR has been lodged against Rajesh Yadav under sections 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 269 (negligence likely to spread disease) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections under the Indian Medical Council Act…”

Initial investigation revealed that Yadav had confessed to using the syringe on patients probably because it would be cheaper. However, The Hindu reported that he did not admit to knowing about the repercussions.