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Monday 21st May 2018

India's fake HIV test debacle

5th November 2006

Police say the company Monozyme India sold hundreds of thousands of HIV test kits under false pretenses between April and August 2006.

The test kits were actually designed to test for pregnancy and other conditions, and they were sold after Monozyme signed a government contract to distribute them.

Doctors say the kits led to some infected people being cleared to give blood—and possibly infect others with HIV.

The company's owners deny charges of malpractice and forgery. Calcutta-based Govind Sarda and his brother Ghanshyam say the kits were mistakenly distributed after a consignment of what were believed to be HIV/AIDS testing kits were delivered to India from China.

He added that police inquiries had revealed that the faulty kits may have been supplied to at least eight other Indian states.

One official said he knew of at least 117 people who were given the wrong diagnosis as a result of these kits but added there could be very many more.

Monozyme is believed by police to have supplied nearly 200,000 kits to hospitals and blood banks in West Bengal alone.

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