CDC: Rare, but one can get HIV via blood

Oct. 21, 2010 at 7:41 PM
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ATLANTA, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Although getting an HIV infection via a blood transfusion in the United States is rare, federal health officials say it is possible and has occurred.

A report, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, details the case of a patient who was infected with human immunodeficiency virus through a blood transfusion.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires blood collection centers to assess donor eligibility using screening questionnaires and highly-sensitive laboratory tests," the report says. "These requirements have significantly reduced, but not eliminated, the risk of transfusion-transmitted HIV infection."

Both the CDC and the FDA are evaluating possible improvements to the donor screening questionnaire and laboratory testing to further reduce the risk of transfusing diseases along with blood, health officials say.

"Healthcare providers should consider the possibility of transfusion-transmitted HIV in a recipient with no other risk factors for infection," the report advises.

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