Pakistani Doctor being interrogated for allegedly spreading HIV to 150 patients by using contaminated syringes
Karachi: Pakistani police have recently stated that the court will allow a doctor with HIV and AIDS to remain in police custody for two more days to determine whether he knowingly spread HIV to over 150 people, mostly children, by using contaminated syringes.
Local police chief Wasim Raja Soomro said Monday that Dr Ghangharo was detained last week, and has denied the charges.
Soomro said the initial investigation indicates the doctor had intentionally spread HIV since early April while treating patients for the common cold, diarrhoea and other diseases.
He said the outbreak was detected when patients with HIV symptoms began coming to a state-run hospital in the southern town of Larkana.
Pakistan's Health Ministry has registered over 23,000 HIV cases.
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“We are told that the doctor also has HIV,” the local police chief heading the case in Pakistan’s southern city of Larkana had informed. Authorities were first alerted last week after 18 children from a town on the outskirts of the city tested positive for the virus, which causes AIDS, prompting health officials to carry out wider screenings. Dozens of more infections were found.
Authorities had earlier stated that they had traced the outbreak to a single doctor, who appears to have been using a contaminated syringe on patients.
Azra Pechuho, Sindh province’s health minister, confirmed his arrest. “The blood of the parents of the infected children was also tested, but their results were negative,” Pechuho added.
Officials have since launched an even larger testing and education drive.
While Pakistan is considered a low-prevalence country for HIV, the disease is expanding — mostly among intravenous drug users, sex workers and migrant labourers who have returned from the Gulf
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