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India Children Get HIV From Blood Transfusions

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By R.K. MISHRA, Associated Press

AHMADABAD, India -- At least 23 children suffering from a rare genetic disorder have tested positive for HIV after receiving tainted blood transfusions in western India, officials said Monday.

The children all received free blood transfusions at a government-run hospital in the Junagadh district of Gujarat state between January and August, hospital head G.T. Dayalu said.

State government spokesman Jai Narayan Vyas said a team of doctors has been sent to investigate.

News reports quoted Vyas as saying that many of the infected children had received transfusions from more than one hospital. But the Indian Express newspaper reported that parents of the children said they had received blood only at the government hospital.

The children suffer from thalassemia, a genetic disorder that requires regular transfusions.

The children all belong to poor families.

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