Transfusion of infected blood is one of the causes of HIV. As the number of positive cases due to blood transfusion increases, questions are raised about the quality of blood transfused to patients.
In India, Gujarat records the highest, 1,658 cases of transfusion transmitted HIV infections from 2010-11 to 2014-15, says the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO).
AdvertisementDr.Rajendra Gadhvi, joint director, Gujarat State Aids Control Society (GSACS), said, Gujarat is the highest voluntary blood donating state an average of 7-9 lakh blood units are donated annually.
J.P.Gupta, health commissioner and project director of GSACS says there is no foolproof testing method to completely eliminate the HIV virus, which has a three-month window when it is not picked by regular testing - from the public health delivery domain.
"In the past, complaints of instances of sample pooling for HIV testing have been raised which compromises test results. Since pooling of samples dilutes the viral load of a positive sample, many times it does not get detected and is passed on to a patient," said, a senior microbiologist in Ahmedabad.
The case where 30 thalassaemic children suffered the threat of HIV infections from regular transfusion adds on to query about the source from which the blood is received and maintained.
But the CBI, in its report has said that there was negligence in testing of blood samples and recommended stringent compliance by blood banks. It however did not have evidence to prove a criminal offence.
A wide range of factors may contribute to the spread of HIV infections through transfusion. Medical negligence, three-month window period of the HIV virus where the virus is not diagnosed by the ELISA test, failed testing mechanisms in public health and wrong information provided by patients, may be few of them.