USNews.com Health In Brief Infectious Diseases Tainted blood (11-9-04)
How safe is the U.S. blood supply?
By Elizabeth Querna
Ryan White, suffering from the blood disorder hemophilia, was just 13 in 1984 when he received a blood transfusion tainted with the AIDS virus. He became a symbol of the epidemic as it crossed demographic lines, but his case also brought to light the need for methods to test donated blood for HIV and other diseases that could be transmitted to unsuspecting recipients. Back then, up to 1 percent of all blood units in the United States contained either HIV or hepatitis C. New screening techniques have been introduced since then, and two separate studies from the American Red Cross update the safety statistics on the blood supply and donated human tissue
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