–Update: November 26, 6:58 PM A spokesman for the Japanese Red Cross Society has now confirmed that one of two blood transfusion recipients have tested positive for HIV after the initial donor’s batch of blood slipped through screening tests.–
A source close to the Japanese Ministry of Health revealed on Monday that blood donated by an HIV-positive man had allegedly slipped through the safety checks of the Japan Red Cross Society and was used in transfusions for several people. According to the source, the Red Cross and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare are checking whether the people involved have indeed contracted HIV, even as the ministry is set to convene a meeting of its blood program panel today.
It was during a blood safety screening in November that the man was found to be infected with HIV, hence the blood he donated at that point was not used for transfusions and other purposes. However, HIV genes were detected in a stored sample of blood he had donated previously. That earlier batch of his blood donation was the one that was used for transfusions with several people, as he had evidently passed the screening test at that point.
The ministry suspects that the man had donated his blood with an ulterior motive to discover whether he was indeed infected with HIV. Authorities say that it was possible that the infected blood slipped through the virus-detection system because the man’s HIV levels were low during the early stage of infection.
[via Kyodo News]
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