Two have gallstones, one is carrying a steel rod inside one of his legs and three are suffering from inflamed appendix, hernia and renal calculi. But no surgeon in Bihar is coming forward to operate on them. The reason: All of them are HIV positive patients.
The six, four from Patna and one each from Munger and Nawadah, have been turned down during the last six months by the district hospitals of Munger and Nawada and even the medical college hospital in Patna.
Dr Diwakar Tejaswi, a private consultant and advisor to the Public Awareness for Healthful Approach for Living, a non-profit outfit dedicated to spreading awareness about health issues, is treating them at present.
He said the surgeons had refused to operate on them as they were in mortal fear of contracting HIV. But Dr Tejaswi said there was no danger in handling them since the patients were already on therapy.
Furnishing a brief medical history of one of the patients, he said before contracting the disease, the patient had fractured a leg in an accident and a steel rod was implanted in it. “Although time has come to take out the piece of metal, no surgeon is ready to perform the operation.”
Gyan Ranjan, vice-president of the Bihar Network for People Living With HIV/AIDS Society, a non-governmental organisation, said, “When we take them to surgeons, they agree to conduct the necessary operations. But as soon as they get to know that the patients are HIV positive, the doctors refuse to touch them.”
But project director of the state-run Bihar State AIDS Control Society, Abhay Kumar Singh, said, “Forward the patients to us. We will get them operated upon.”