Conman infects 21 people with HIV while pretending to be a doctor

Representative image credit Reuters

Reports say the news of the infections broke after the victims, including children, were diagnosed at a health camp organised by an NGO in November past year in Bangarmau city of Unnao district.

The HIV targets the immune system and weakens people's defence systems against infections and some types of cancer. It is being told that the people here used to go to a quack for treatment of diseases.

Choudhary added he's unsure how numerous confirmed cases are directly related to Yadav.

He is a quack, Choudhary said.

A shortage of doctors in India leads many patients to depend on unqualified practitioners, many of whom work out of hole-in-the-wall clinics in rural areas.

Five of those infected were children, mostly under the age of 12 years.

The Indian Medical Association estimates that about 45% of the people in India who practice medicine have no formal training.

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Chaudhary said, "Seeing the high number cases, the health department constituted a two-member committee which visited various settlements of Bangarmau to investigate the reasons behind the spike".

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh has assured a proper investigation into the matter.

India at the end of 2016 had an estimated 2.1 million people living with HIV, according to UNAIDS.

"We are in the process of recording the statements of the victims and trying to nab the quack", Bangarmau police inspector Arun Kumar Singh said.

The villagers said they once in a while observed Yadav changing the needles. Reacting to the reports of 40 positive cases of HIV, the medical superintendent said that the concerned authorities have been alerted a future course of action is being designed.

Locals allege that the quack used to use one syringe for injections on every patient and possibly infected others by a needle used on an Aids patient. "So we are also mapping truck drivers", he said.

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