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Thalassemic patient is now HIV positive due to faulty Diagnostic kit…

Shampa Das (name changed), 22, was affected only by thalassemia intermedia till February 2006, however, now she is diagnosed to be HIV positive.//

Initially, blood transfusion was not needed for her, however, as her condition worsened, she underwent blood transfusion 10 times last year.

She had visited the Central Blood Bank at Maniktala in Kolkata in February. She could have got infected then, as ineffective diagnostic kits from the jute baron Govind Sarda's firm; Monozyme (India) Pvt Ltd, were used in the bank at approximately the same time, as reported in the September 29th issue of TOI.

When she went to Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College for a regular check-up in April, she was tested positive for HIV.

The Thalassemia and AIDS Prevention Society, West Bengal, maintains a register of all patients coming to the hematology department and also conducts HIV tests on them. "It is likely that she got infected blood at least two months before the test was conducted," said Sailen Ghosh, society's secretary.

In no time Shampa's world fell apart. "I knew that I was a thalassemic but never could I imagine something like this happening to me. How can I be blamed for this? There's a lot of stigma attached to us and now this has come upon me. I hope no one gets to know about this," Shampa said.

Central Blood Bank director Subir Kumar Bose said, "I was not intimated about the incident. Let the family members lodge a complaint with us, we will look into the matter." Shampa’s thalassemic state had let her get to know about the HIV condition so early. However, only 12-15% of the total blood collected in the state is used for transfusion to thalassemic patients.

It was only probably because she was thalassemic that she got to know about her condition so soon. Blood transfusion to thalassemia patients accounts for only 12-15% of the total blood collected in the state. This implies that several people
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