Procure AT machines, orders CM

Gogoi asks Health department to bear medical costs of

HIV-infected boy

BY Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, May 16: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today directed the Health department to immediately procure Nuclear Acid Amplification Test machines for speedier HIV tests.

A nucleic acid test, often called 'T' or AT, has been developed to shorten the window period, a time between when a patient has been infected and when they show up as HIV positive in antibody tests.

The AT can detect HIV virus in blood within three days of infection, while the ELISA (Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay) and a more modern CLIA (Enhanced Chemiiluminescence Assay) can detect HIV antibodies, which the body generates post-infection, only after the 18-day window period associated with HIV.

However, AT is expensive and no hospital in Assam is presently equipped to carry it out.

The Chief Minister today chaired a meeting with senior Health officials at his official residence in which he also reviewed progress in the treatment of the three-year-old boy who was infected with HIV, allegedly while undergoing treatment at the Gauhati Medical College & Hospital.

The CM asked the Health department to bear the medical expenses of the boy.

The Health officials told Gogoi that according to the India HIV Estimates 2015 report, there was a rise of 0.06 percent in HIV cases in the State against the tiol average of 0.26 percent, according to an official release.

Till February, 2016, there were 11,705 HIV infected people living in the State.

Meanwhile, the inquiry team probing the GMCH HIV fiasco case today submitted a prelimiry report to the CM.

Sources said samples of all the seven blood units given to the boy were found to be HIV negative. "However, we will re-examine the samples to be doubly sure," they said.

Head of the plastic surgery department Dr Seema Rekha Devi, who was under scanner for not reporting the detection of HIV in the boy to the hospital superintendent, has gone on leave. Due to her absence, investigators are uble to examine the records and test the samples of skin grafts used during the plastic surgeries conducted on the boy.

The fil probe report may take about a month's time.

As many as 13 surgeries were performed on the boy who was admitted at the GMCH from April 15 to October 3 last year due to 40 percent burn injuries sustained during an accident.  He was given seven units of blood during that period.

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