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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

A Hard Lesson on Risk of HIV in Blood Supply


Washington Post Online (07/24/99) P. B1

The infection of Cappy Young, a Virginia man, with HIV highlights concerns regarding a contaminated blood supply. Young learned in June that he contracted HIV through a contaminated blood transfusion. Federal blood safety officials are checking to see whether the organization that provided the blood, Virginia Blood Services, followed proper screening procedures. Federal estimates suggest that one in every 680,000 units of donated blood may transmit HIV. Since 1985, when the United States launched a comprehensive blood screening program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has logged 39 cases of transfusion-caused HIV infection. Donated blood is tested for HIV antibodies; however, individuals who donate within about three weeks of HIV infection may pass the virus on undetected. Screening for HIV antigens can generally detect the virus 16 days after infection, and better tests are under development.


Copyright © 1999 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in July 27, 1999. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.