Two patients may have got HIV after taking blood: Odisha Govt

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government today did not rule out possibility of two persons being infected with the HIV after taking blood from state run blood banks.

"The state government is aware of the allegation of two persons being infected with HIV after taking blood from blood banks. One cannot rule out the possibility of infection due to use of contaminated needle at private hospital also," Health Minister Damodar Rout said in the assembly.

Replying to a debate, Rout said of the 3,07,022 units of blood collected in 2011, allegation of contamination was received in two cases. "Whatever the case may be, it is an unfortunate incident," Rout said.

Announcing that the state government had decided to put in place the provision of ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay) test in each of the 82 blood banks in the state, Rout said modernised blood tests like NAT (Nuclic Acid Amplification Test) and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) would soon be introduced in three medical college hospitals and at Capital Hospital in first phase soon.

As NAT and PCR provisions were costly, the state government decided to introduce ELISA test in all blood banks.

Only 20 blood banks in the country have provisions of NAT and PCR tests, he said.

Opposition Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan had alleged that two persons were infected with HIV without any fault. "If people get HIV infection by taking blood from blood banks, how can they have trust on the government system," he asked demanding immediate introduction of NAT and PCR tests in all blood banks.

"Orissa High Court had directed the state government to supply pure blood to people by introducing NAT and PCR methods of blood tests one year ago, nothing has been done so far," Harichandan said.