May 31, 2016 4:50 PM EDT

More than 2,000 people in India have contracted HIV while receiving blood transfusions in the country’s hospitals over the last 17 months, officials said.

India’s National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) said at least 2,234 people have been infected by contaminated blood during that timeframe—most from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, the BBC reports. There are more than 2 million people living with HIV or AIDS in the country, according to the news outlet.

The group released the data in response to a petition filed by activist Chetan Kothari, who told the BBC he was “shocked” at the figures. “This is the official data, provided by the government-run NACO. I believe the real numbers would be double or triple that,” Kothari said, adding that India hospitals lack the technology to screen blood for HIV.

“This is a very serious matter and must be addressed urgently,” he said.

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