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9-yr-old Cancer Patient May Have Got HIV From a 'Window Period' Donor, Says Report

The 9-year-old girl, a resident of Alappuzha district had come to RCC for treatment of blood cancer in March 2017. She had undergone four rounds of chemotherapy. The girl's father had filed a complaint with the health minister and police after his daughter tested HIV positive.

Neethu Reghukumar | CNN-News18

Updated:September 20, 2017, 5:43 PM IST
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9-yr-old Cancer Patient May Have Got HIV From a 'Window Period' Donor, Says Report
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Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Aids Control Society (SACC) has, in its report, stated that the 9-year-old cancer patient who tested HIV positive after being transfused with blood at Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, might have contracted the disease from one of the blood donors. The report further states that the hospital had followed the protocol.

The 9-year-old girl, a resident of Alappuzha district had come to RCC for treatment of blood cancer in March 2017. She had undergone four rounds of chemotherapy. The girl's father had filed a complaint with the health minister and police after his daughter tested HIV positive.

Dr. R Ramesh, the project director, SACC, said that the inquiry found that the RCC had followed all the set guidelines. There was no violation or dereliction of duty by the staff. "We also looked into donor cards and found that all the routine tests were conducted. We have reached a conclusion that probably one of 49 donors may have been in the window period," he said.

A window period is usually a period of several weeks in which a newly infected person is yet to produce enough HIV antibodies to be detected.

Dr. Ramesh suggested that hospitals conduct the advanced NAT test so as to reduce the window period by two weeks. The facility should be made available at least at 5 major government hospitals, including the RCC and the Malabar Cancer centre, he said.

"The NAT test is costlier. The cost of equipment is about Rs 1 crore and each test costs close to Rs 1000."

The girl's father had, in his complaint, said that his daughter tested HIV negative when she underwent a test in March."After doing four rounds of chemotherapy, when they conducted the blood test again on August 27, she tested HIV positive," he said, adding that the girl was transfused with blood 49 times in the intervening period.

He said that he had brought his daughter here for the cancer treatment and now she has contracted HIV, too. "What should she be treated for first?"

Police had registered a case under section 336 of IPC (Negligent act endangering life or personal safety of others).

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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