NACO says HIV data was based on self-reporting

Updated - November 17, 2021 01:46 am IST

Published - June 01, 2016 12:46 am IST - New Delhi:

The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), in response to the article > “Bad Blood: 2,234 get HIV after transfusion” published on May 31, has said the numbers were based on self-reporting on the method of contracting HIV at the Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTC) in various States.

“The information provided in response to the RTI refers to information on self-reported transmission of HIV recorded by counsellors from clients attending the ICTC. This is not further corroborated by any scientific means to confirm that transmission is indeed due to blood transfusion,” the NACO statement said.

It noted that all blood banks had to mandatorily test all collected blood units for five transfusion-transmitted infections — HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis and Malaria. All donors were selected after examination by a medical doctor.

However, despite the best testing facilities, there exists a window period during which an infection cannot be detected by any tests, including the Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT), it said.

Blood transfusion accounts for less than 1 per cent of total HIV infection and there is no increasing trend in HIV transmission through blood, as reflected in the ICTC data.

This may account for transmission in limited cases, which can be circumvented by proper selection of healthy blood donors and encouraging repeat voluntary blood donation.

“Awareness is also generated for persons who are known to be HIV reactive or in high-risk behaviour groups not to enrol as blood donors to avoid transfusion-transmitted HIV,” the release added.

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