GUWAHATI, Feb 13 � The rate of new HIV infections through transfusion of contaminated blood in Assam has doubled the national average in 2014, casting serious apprehensions on the existing blood safety interventions in the State.
While about one per cent of the total transmission of HIV is through contaminated blood in the country, in Assam it has risen to 2 per cent in the year 2014.
Significantly, the rate of such new detections has increased in the last one year, unlike what is being witnessed in the country as a whole, a latest report of the Assam State AIDS Control Society stated.
The State has a recent history of transmission of HIV infections through blood transfusions, where four people got infected after receiving blood from a government-run blood bank in Mangaldai in June, 2013.
Reports available with The Assam Tribune reveal that as many as 1,077 new detections were confirmed by the health institutions during 2014 and that majority of the HIV infections (as on December 31, 2014) were effected through unprotected sex of heterosexual (multiple partners), followed by infections from parent to child (for children).
As of today, the total number of HIV-positive cases detected till December 31, 2014 is 9,991, of which 6,082 were males, 3,445 females, 455 children and 9 transgenders.
Among the districts, Kamrup (Metro) has 3,820 detections of HIV positive (status as on December 31, 2014), followed by Cachar and Dibrugarh with 2,137 and 652 detections respectively.
However, if the place of origin of those infected is taken into account, Cachar tops the list with 24.43 per cent, followed by Kamrup (M) with 14.81 per cent.
A senior official of the Health Department, when asked to comment on the disturbing trend, said the government is taking all necessary steps in this regard and as part of it licenses of five blood banks have been cancelled in the span of last one year or so.