Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Blood safety program in South Africa associated with decline in HIV-1 in blood donations


A blood safety program in South Africa that included closing donor clinics in areas of high HIV prevalence is associated with a decrease in the prevalence of HIV in donated blood, according to study in the February 1 issue of JAMA.

South Africa is in the midst of an escalating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–AIDS pandemic, with an estimated 5.3 million people and 11.4 percent of the overall population infected, according to background information in the article. The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) collects more than 700,000 units of whole blood each year using internationally endorsed principles of voluntary donation, screening, and testing. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 5 percent to 10 percent of HIV/AIDS cases continue to be acquired from infected blood transfusions. An analysis of South African donations in 1999 estimated the risk of HIV-1 infection at 3.4 per 100,000 donations. These data necessitated the development of a program to minimize this risk.

Anthon du P. Heyns, D.Sc., M.D., of the South African National Blood Service, Weltevreden Park, South Africa, and colleagues examined the prevalence of HIV-1 in blood donations before and after the implementation of new policies and estimated the residual risk for all blood donations following full program implementation. The researchers compared the prevalence of HIV-1 in blood donations collected from 1999 through 2000 with blood donations collected from 2001 through 2002 and estimated the incidence of HIV-1 in first-time donations and the residual risk for all donations in 2001-2002. All blood donors in the Inland region of the South African National Blood Service were analyzed.

The new policies included closing donor clinics in areas where HIV prevalence is high and programs targeting the youth and promoting repeat donation were initiated. Risk behavior education programs were developed for staff and donors. Structured donor interviews with direct oral questioning were institutionalized to ensure understanding of the self-exclusion questionnaire.

After implementation of the new policies, prevalence of HIV-1 in blood donations declined 50 percent, from 0.17 percent in 1999-2000 to 0.08 percent in 2001-2002 with a reduction seen in most demographic groups. This decrease was attributable to a reduction in the proportion of intermediate (4.9 percent to 3.3 percent) and high-risk (2.6 percent to 1.7 percent) donations and decreased prevalence in these categories. The prevalence of HIV-1 in first-time donors decreased by 45 percent. Donations from the majority black population declined from 6.6 percent to 4.2 percent.

"In the long term, we believe that education of blood donors will be a key factor for ongoing blood safety. There is a need for a structured program that is culturally attuned and presented in the multiple languages in common use. SANBS has been awarded funding under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Association of Blood Banks and the American Red Cross to this end. It will be important to link this initiative to a broader national HIV/AIDS program and to promote blood donation as part of a safe lifestyle to prevent the spread of HIV through blood transfusions and high risk behaviors," the authors conclude.

Anthon du P. Heyns | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>