Intended for healthcare professionals


Direct HIV testing of donated blood is inevitable

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 17 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1433
  1. Adam Legge
  1. Newcastle

    The introduction of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for HIV in donated blood products is inevitable, according to scientists at the National Blood Authority. They say, however, that such a move would result in a “quantum leap” in cost for doubtful benefit.

    Testing directly for HIV, rather than the current antibody testing, would reduce the window of opportunity for missing infected blood from around three weeks to a matter of days. Three patients in northwest England recently contracted HIV infection from blood transfusions from a donor positive …

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