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Tuesday 14 February 2006
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SOUTH AFRICA: Race-based blood profiling deemed effective against HIV

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 6 February (PLUSNEWS) - A South African National Blood Services (SANBS) policy that excluded black blood donors has led to a drop in HIV-tainted blood supplies, according to a US study.

Associated Press quoted senior researcher Dr Michael Busch of the Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco as saying, "Hundreds or more would have contracted HIV from blood transfusions without the race-based policy".

The study, conducted in collaborated with the SANBS, was published in the latest Journal of the American Medical Association. It examined 900,000 donor samples collected during the policy's introduction in 1999, and compared these with almost 800,000 collected from 2001 to 2002 at the height of the policy.

HIV was detected in 0.17 percent of donations in the earlier period, but dropped by 50 percent between 2001 and 2002, the researchers reported.

Busch noted that the study was not an argument in favour of the policy, but rather underscored the dilemma of trying to maintain safe blood supplies in a country hard-hit by the AIDS pandemic.



Recent SOUTH AFRICA Reports
Concern as MSF starts handover of HIV/AIDS treatment,  24/Jan/06
Gays and SANBS kiss and make up,  20/Jan/06
Khomanani adds a new twist to love on Valentine's,  13/Jan/06
Global Fund withdraws support for loveLife ,  19/Dec/05
National survey finds young women most at risk of HIV/AIDS,  1/Dec/05
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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