14,474 Cases Of HIV Through Blood Transfusion, But Govt Denies Crisis

14,474 Cases Of HIV Through Blood Transfusion, But Govt Denies Crisis

Organisation: IndiaSpend (India)

Publication Date: 04/10/2017



The two-part Right to Information (RTI) based investigation reveals how the Indian government is in denial about 14,474 people being infected with HIV through blood transfusion – including innocent children. Through two dozen RTI responses, the story explores how government despite having this data for the past seven years is yet to order a study or inquiry, putting millions of innocent lives at risk. The story talks about parents who lost their children after transfusing HIV-infected blood and ones fighting the disease, living under fear of discrimination. Though developed countries have proved that these innocent lives can be spared, India is yet to act. USA has successfully prevented this by using an advanced testing called NAAT. But India has not yet adopted NAAT as an expert committee is of the opinion that it can detect only “infinitesimally small” proportion of cases. The story took shape while following the news of a child infected with HIV after blood transfusion in Assam. To my first RTI query, the government denied of having any data on the total number of such cases but accepted it subsequently as I kept at it with more RTI requests.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

The story evolved through 24 Right to Information responses from the central and state governments over a three-month period. We were able to not only find out the total number of cases, but also that the government has done nothing despite knowing that has been happening. The story exposes how carelessly the Indian government is acting on a medical crisis that is shattering the lives of hundreds of innocent citizens every year.

Technologies used for this project:

All Right to Information requests were filed online. Microsoft Excel made handling of data simpler and so did online websites to represent data.
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