A 5-year-old girl in China has reportedly contracted HIV through a blood transfusion. The official news agency Xinhua stated, "The girl, nicknamed Maomao, was infected during an operation for congenital heart disease in 2010 in the eastern province of Fujian. She tested positive for HIV last year after she had come down with a fever for 17 days."
A Fujian government official told the news agency that one of the donors whose blood was used during the operation was in a 'window period' during which the virus was undetectable. The donor was later found to have HIV. The head of the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, Wu Zunyou, told Monday's China Daily newspaper that about 10 people in China annually are infected with HIV through blood transfusions.
An investigation into the Fujian case has found that neither the hospital nor the blood center had broken any law as the donor was in the window period, and negotiations on compensation were underway with the family.
In China, nearly half a million people are living with HIV/AIDS, according to figures released last month by the National Health and Family Planning Commission. In the 1990s, rural parts of China, particularly the central province of Henan, were hit by the country's most debilitating AIDS epidemic, which stemmed from a tainted government-backed blood donation program and infected tens of thousands of people, including entire villages. Currently, sexual transmission accounts for more than 90 percent of HIV infections, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDCP). But transmission through blood transfusions still remains an issue.