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

CHINA: China's Blood Still Unsafe, Needs Help: Report




 

Reuters (09.06.07) - Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A decade after hundreds of thousands of farmers in central Henan were infected with HIV at unsanitary, often state-run blood-buying clinics, China's blood supply is still not safe, a new report finds.

Though the government has worked to improve HIV/AIDS monitoring of the country's blood supply, earlier this summer then-Health Minister Gao Qiang acknowledged in a speech that safety concerns over the collection system remained. In June, food and drug regulators discovered fake plasma being used at around 18 hospitals in northeastern China.

"The demand for blood and blood products is growing in China, and supply is short," said Sara Davis, director of Asia Catalyst and co-author of the organization's report. "This creates an economic incentive for hospitals to rely on illegal, untested blood donations, and that fuels the spread of AIDS." "Today, China's blood supply remains dangerously unsafe," the report said. "Around the country, patients who check into hospitals for routine surgery may check out with HIV/AIDS as a result of hospital blood transfusions." Davis acknowledged China is not alone in grappling with the issue. Countries such as Japan and France have dealt with problems of HIV transmission through blood transfusions, though they have taken effective measures to ensure no repeat of past scandal. This is not the case in China.

"In China, where the AIDS blood transmission outbreak in some provinces dwarfs those of Japan and France., health officials who acted negligently or criminally while directly profiting from the causes of the blood scandal have rarely been held personally accountable," the report noted.



 


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Information in this article was accurate in September 12, 2007. 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.