Around 2,234 Indians were infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during the blood transfusion process in the last 17 months. [REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE] Pictured: Volunteers of National Service Scheme (NSS) pose with HIV/AIDS awareness messages on their faces.Reuters

Around 2,234 Indians were infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after blood transfusion in the last 17 months.

Uttar Pradesh accounted for a majority of such cases, which stood at 361, due to unsafe blood transfusions at state hospitals, the Hindu reported.

The other states where such cases were reported were Gujarat, Maharashtra and New Delhi, with 292, 276 and 264 cases, respectively.

The data was released by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) in response to a Right to Information (RTI) query.

Chetan Kothari, an activist who filed the query was quoted by the Hindu as saying that the government has not allocated sufficient budget to raise AIDS awareness in the country.

"Cases like these keep happening over and over again and no action is taken against erring hospitals and blood banks. This is an extremely serious issue, and the government needs to address it urgently," Kothari said.

The NACO 2015 annual report said that the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS in India was found to be nearly 20.9 lakh in 2011. About 86 percent of the HIV/AIDS patients in India were in the age group of 15 to 49 years.

Around 84 percent of the donated blood units in India come from voluntary donations.

Naresh Goyal, deputy Director General at NACO, was quoted by the Huffington Post as saying that voluntary donation could be the root cause of various blood infections, including HIV.

India has the third-highest number of HIV-infected people in the world after South Africa and Nigeria. The country is home to 21.7 lakh HIV-infected people in India.

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