Days after trying to kill himself, the 19-year-old man who unknowingly donated HIV infected blood, which was later transfused into a pregnant woman in Sattur, Tamil Nadu, died on Sunday morning at the Rajaji government hospital in Madurai.
Confirming this to TNM, a police officer from Kamudhi in Ramanathapuram district said that the manâ€™s family had been informed a few hours ago and they are yet to reach the police station. The man had attempted to kill himself on Wednesday. He was rushed to the Ramanathapuram government hospital immediately and was being treated there. Though his condition was thought to be stable initially, he was later transferred to Madurai hospital for extensive treatment, said the officer.
Speaking to TNM, the Dean of Madurai Government Rajaji hospital Dr Shanmuga Sundaram said that the man died of complications from his suicide attempt. "He died at 8.10 this morning due to bleeding, a known complication of this kind of poison ingestion. His family is yet to claim the body. He was treated in our hospital from December 27," he added.
Earlier this month, the 19-year-old man had been informed of his HIV positive status during a routine medical examination as part of a visa application process. Upon finding out, he immediately alerted authorities about recently having donated blood.
When officials tracked the donated blood, it was found that it had been administered to a pregnant 23-year-old woman from Virudhunagar districtâ€™s Sivakasi taluk. The woman was later notified and started on antiretroviral therapy (ART), which doctors say will keep the viral load (or concentration of the virus in the blood) low and would prevent the onset of AIDS. The three lab technicians responsible for the negligence have since been terminated.
Several experts have also said that their focus is on ensuring that the child, expected to be born in January, does not contract the virus. Following the birth, the child will be started on preventive medications. The government has stated that it would take up the responsibility of the mother and childâ€™s medical expenses. She is currently undergoing treatment at Maduraiâ€™s Rajaji Government Hospital and is being monitored routinely by a team of doctors.
If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help.
State health department suicide helpline number â€“ 104
Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre â€“ 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in TN)