Important: The POPLINE website will retire on September 1, 2019. Click here to read about the transition.

AIDS and blood transfusions: ensuring safe blood supplies.

Finger WR
NETWORK. 1990 Apr; 11(2):5-7,20.

Safe and adequate blood supplies are needed, especially in high Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevalence rate areas. Tests for HIV are available in most developing countries today. Much virus screening is taking place. The best way to control HIV's transmission is to establish a blood transfusion system (BTS). Proper storage, distribution, collection, and testing of blood must be done. Trained technicians and appropriate criteria for using transfusions should be included in any BTS. Establishing a central BTS requires much money and the national government must be committed to it. In 1988, WHO started the Global Blood Safety Initiative (GBSI) in conjunction with others. It's objective is to support integrated BTSs in all countries. 8 countries have been chosen for priorities, to develop BTSs. GBSI is also working in other countries to train technicians, get blood donors, and prevent HIV infections. A major problem in most developing countries is adequate blood supplies. In rural areas, many transfusions come from family members. Blood can be screened, and results given in 10-15 minutes. Large city hospitals can use ELISH HIV testing. It requires a 1-day wait for results but costs < the faster tests. Paid donors do not like blood screening, because it may lead to loss of income. Large countries need to use testing facilities in different regions. But smaller ones can use a centralized system, if they have good transportation. In November, 1989 a workshop was held in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, to set up appropriate blood transfusion guidelines. 45 physicians and blood bank managers took part. 9 of the 10 provinces were represented. The conference concluded that the number of transfusions should be reduced, and volunteer donors should be sought. In February, 1990 more than 700 Romanian children had been infected with HIV. This may have been caused by injecting adult blood into young babies who appear anemic. This is known as microtransfusion and health officials have banned it.

Region / Country: 
Document Number: 
Add to my documents. Add to My Documents