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Transfusion-Associated Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome in the United States

Thomas A. Peterman, MD, MSc; Harold W. Jaffe, MD; Paul M. Feorino, PhD; Jane P. Getchell, DrPH; Donna T. Warfield; Harry W. Haverkos, MD; Rand L. Stoneburner, MD, MPH; James W. Curran, MD, MPH
JAMA. 1985;254(20):2913-2917. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360200065028.
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By Aug 15, 1985, one hundred ninety-four cases of possible transfusion-associated acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control. Cases received their transfusions in 30 states. Infants account for 10% of the cases, suggesting an increased susceptibility to developing AIDS. Investigations one to six years after the transfusions have identified high-risk donors to 47 cases. Of 47 high-risk donors tested, 40 had a reactive serology for human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus (HTLV-III/LAV) antibody, including five with no risk for AIDS by history. The HTLV-III/LAV was isolated from 23 of 26 seroreactive high-risk donors, most of whom remained asymptomatic. Blood components that transmitted HTLV-III/LAV included red cells, platelets, plasma, and whole blood. The time from transfusion to diagnosis of AIDS ranged from four to 84 months. The risk of developing AIDS after a blood transfusion has been low and will be lowered further by using both self-deferral and antibody screening.

(JAMA 1985;254:2913-2917)


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