Health

HIV surge in Unnao in 2017 was caused by unsafe injection exposure, says ICMR

Photo for representational purpose only.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu



“Unsafe injection exposure during treatment-seeking and receipt of intramuscular injection in the last five years were independently associated with HIV sero-reactive (presence of antibodies) status,” noted the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Saturday, as the reason for the surge of HIV in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh in 2017-18.

The Council released its findings from a case-control study conducted on the sudden increase in the detection of HIV among attendees of Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre (ICTC) located in a district hospital, Unnao, in 2017.

“The findings have helped establish that the infection arising from blood transfusion, undergoing invasive surgical procedures, tattooing, tonsuring of head or skin piercing was not related to the surge in the cases,” noted ICMR in its release.

It added that the study was done on individuals who were detected HIV seroreactive during November 2017-April 2018 from three locations, namely Premganj, Karimuddinpur and Chakmeerapur in the Bangarmau block of Unnao district.

The study participants were interviewed based on various risk practices and invasive treatment procedures. They were also tested for HIV and other bio-markers reflecting unsafe injecting and sexual exposures. Along with this, secondary data analysis on three time points was performed, which revealed a rising trend of HIV among attendees of specific ICTCs in the district.

Speaking about the study, the corresponding author, Samiran Panda, Director, ICMR National AIDS Research Institute, Pune said, “The study has been critical to understanding the outbreak and the challenges associated with unsafe injection practices. A comprehensive approach to tackle the problem should be adopted with interventions like increasing access of auto-disabled syringes and needles, empowering the local communities and implementing effective regulatory practices across care settings.”

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 2:51:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/hiv-surge-in-unnao-in-2017-was-caused-by-unsafe-injection-exposure-says-icmr/article33258047.ece

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