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2005-07-03-Indian inquiry over HIV patient
An inquiry has been ordered in India after a pregnant woman was allegedly turned away from hospital on the suspicion that she was HIV positive.
A notice has been served on the hospital in the town of Jamshedpur in the eastern state of Jharkhand.
Regional authorities have asked the State Aids Control Society to conduct an independent inquiry.
Officials at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College Hospital denied that the woman was turned away.
Jamshedpur district officials said the woman was in the last stages of her pregnancy and doctors advised that she undergo a caesarean section.
While other medical and clinical tests were being conducted, the doctors and medical staff on duty at the hospital apparently realised the woman was suspected of being HIV positive, officials said.
She was then reportedly asked to leave her hospital.
Later hospital staff allegedly burnt the linen on the patient's hospital bed and the gloves used to handle her.
There has been no trace of the woman and her family members since.
However, hospital superintendent AK Verma has denied that the patient was turned away.
"The doctors at the hospital examined her and asked for her previous medical reports.
"The doctors also advised for a fresh blood test following which neither the patient nor those accompanying her could be traced," Mr Verma told the BBC news website.
He said the hospital was currently treating three patients who are suspected of having tested HIV positive.
The special officer of the State Aids Control Society, DP Taneja, said similar reports of stigma have come in from other parts of the state.
The aids control body has taken up the matter with the state government to ensure a check on such incidents.
"A lot of money has been pumped in by the federal and state governments to contain the spread of the HIV virus," said Jamshedpur deputy commissioner Nitin Kulkarni.
But he said allegations such as this one were frustrating the efforts of the government.