A 24-year-old pregnant woman in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu contracted HIV, after she was given infected blood during transfusion at a government hospital. The incident took place in Sivakasi town in Virudhunagar district, in the first week of December.

According to local reports, the eight months pregnant woman arrived at the government hospital earlier this month and was told she needed a transfusion because she was anemic. She was given blood from the hospital's blood bank, but it later emerged that the donor of the blood that was transfused was HIV-positive.

A man, who was unaware he was HIV-positive, had donated blood at the bank during a donation drive organised by a non-profit group on Nov. 30. The man later underwent a blood test at a private clinic as part of a medical check-up for a job application abroad. During this time he found out that he was HIV-positive. He then informed the blood bank, which tested his blood and found he was HIV-positive. But by this time, the infected blood had already been transfused to the pregnant woman.

A week after receiving the blood, the woman became unwell, Dr. K Senthil Raj, project director, State AIDS Control Society, told the New Indian Express. Her symptoms included chills, fever and diarrhea. A blood test revealed that the woman had contracted HIV, which is usually transmitted through sexual intercourse, infected blood and from an infected mother to the baby in her womb or through breastfeeding.

Three lab technicians of the government-run blood bank have been suspended for negligence. The government has also offered financial compensation and jobs for the woman and her husband, local media NDTV reported.

"There have been lapses twice. We suspect the technician who cleared the blood did not test a sample for HIV. It's an accident and not intentional. We have ordered a probe. We are also treating the young man," Dr. R Manoharan, deputy director at Tamil Nadu's health department, told NDTV.

Preliminary investigation shows that staff at the blood bank had not screened the blood properly, for any disease or illness before sending it to the hospital, where the woman was admitted.

An Indian donor lies on a bed as he donates blood at a blood transfusion clinic in New Delhi on June 1, 2016. Getty Images/Chandan Khanna

The woman is currently receiving anti-retroviral treatment as doctors say instant detection gives her a chance to live a long life. However, the family has to wait until the birth of the baby, to find out whether the newborn is infected with HIV, or not.

“The government is taking steps to prevent the impact of HIV on that woman with the help of technology. All stocks in blood banks will be analyzed to ensure they are HIV-free,” Tamil Nadu lawmaker D Jayakumar said.