In the span of the last 16 months, a concerning revelation has emerged at a Government Medical College in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut district: more than 60 pregnant women have been diagnosed with HIV, according to an official from the health department who shared this disheartening news on Friday.
In response to this alarming situation, a dedicated team from the health department has been dispatched to closely monitor and investigate the situation, as mentioned by the same official.
The shocking surge in HIV-positive cases became apparent following a report from the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) Centre at Lala Lajpat Rai Medical College in Meerut. This report underscored that HIV infection had been confirmed in a total of 81 pregnant women who had sought medical assistance at the Lala Lajpat Rai Medical College, primarily for child delivery purposes.
Within this group of 81 women who tested HIV-positive, a noteworthy 35 of them have successfully given birth to their children amidst the challenges posed by their health condition.
Dr. Akhilesh Mohan Prasad, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Meerut
Based on the detailed report furnished by the ART center, during the time span between 2022 and 2023, the medical college identified 33 new instances of HIV infection among pregnant women. Additionally, up until July 2023, 13 more new cases were documented. Furthermore, 35 women who were already pregnant were found to be carrying the HIV virus.
In an effort to mitigate the impact of this distressing situation, all the affected women are receiving treatment at the ART center within the medical college premises. The medical college's officials have reassured that these women are responding well to the medical interventions they are receiving.
Regarding the health and well-being of the newborns born to these affected mothers, the nodal officer of the ART center explained that HIV testing will be conducted on the infants once they reach the age of 18 months, allowing enough time for any potential transmission to be accurately detected.
(Input from various media sources)