Health dept says it discarded 550 blood units tainted with HIV in 2016

MANILA-- The Department of Health (DOH) said it has discarded more than 500 blood units found to be tainted with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in 2016.

Based on the December 2016 report of the HIV and AIDS Registry of the Philippines (HARP), the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) confirmed that a total of 550 blood units tested positive for HIV last year.

"These were confirmed HIV-positive blood units, not blood donors. It is possible that one donor will donate more than one blood unit," said the HARP report.

The month of August had the highest number of HIV-tainted blood units with 71, while February had the lowest with only 25. In December alone, 53 blood units were confirmed positive for HIV.

The 2016 figure is higher than in 2015, when 456 blood units were discarded for being tainted with HIV.

Meanwhile, the DOH has assured the public that the tainted blood units were discarded and not transferred to other people.

"These HIV-positive blood units were not transfused. The blood units were discarded after initial screening at the blood banks and sent to RITM for confirmation," the department said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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