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Pakistan Doctor Blamed for Hundreds of HIV Infections

More than 500 children have tested positive in district
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2019 2:26 AM CDT
500 Children Infected With HIV in Pakistan Region
Pakistani mother Parveen sits with her three-year-old Ume Kulssom, both infected with HIV, sit in their home in a village near Ratodero on Thursday, May 16 2019.   (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

(Newser) – More than 600 people, including at least 500 children between 2 months and 12 years old, have tested positive for HIV in a rural district in southern Pakistan—and authorities suspect a single doctor is to blame for most of the infections. Authorities say most of the infected children in the Larkana region of Sindh province visited the private clinic of pediatrician Muzaffar Ghangar, who is HIV positive, the Hindustani Times reports. The doctor was arrested earlier this month and authorities are trying to determine whether he intentionally infected children with the virus, reports the AP.

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Ghangar, who also worked in a local hospital, is believed to have infected at least 50 people by reusing a single contaminated syringe. Sikandar Memon, head of the AIDS Control Program in Sindh province, said earlier this month that more than 500 cases were detected after 13,800 people in Larkana were tested for HIV. "We were in great pain the day we heard about our son testing HIV positive," the mother of 10-year-old patient Ali Raza tells the AP. The World Health Organization is sending a 10-member team of experts to the region, which has requested a rapid response team and 50,000 testing kits. (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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