Written by Dr. Sangamithra, MBBS | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Sep 16, 2014

AIDS/HIV Risk Associated with Blood Transfusion

AIDS/HIV risk associated with blood transfusion is very if blood is routinely screened by the blood test

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, is easily transmitted through blood transfusions. Blood transfusions will always carry certain risks, but HIV transmission through blood transfusion can virtually be prevented. Blood should be screened for the presence of diseases causing viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, or for the presence of anti bodies produced against these agents. Screening of blood has to be done before transfusion to prevent from infection into recipient. Majority of tests detect the presence of anti bodies to HIV and not the virus itself.


Although HIV tests are very sensitive, there is a window period. This is the period between the onset of infection with HIV and the appearance of detectable anti bodies to the virus. In the case of most sensitive HIV tests the window period is about three weeks.

Estimated Risk

The overall risk of AIDS infection by transfusion remains quite small when compared to other commonly accepted risks. It was estimated that between 67 and 227 HIV-positive blood units entered the nation's blood supply undetected in 1987 out of 20 million units of blood and its components transfused annually. Their best estimate was 131 units, which corresponds to a risk to a patient of one in 153,000 per unit transfused.


  1. Currie, Edwina. The Observer, 15 February 1987
  2. HIV - (https://www.who.int/hiv/en/)
  3. HIV InSite Knowlege Base - (http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite.jsp?page=KB)
  4. HIV / AIDS - (https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/hivaids)


bijaykumar107 Thursday, January 24, 2013

iwant to ask if there is no infectioninthe blood is there no risk of aids if two different groups of blood are tranfued if there is there and not the aids then waht is it \. can u please tell me

www.plwha.org Thursday, April 21, 2011

HIV travel restrictions and retreats: www.plwha.org

hivprevention Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I find it frusterating that hiv screening can only detect the antibodies as opposed to the actual virus. Our governments need to allocate further investment into research so we can work towards more effective hiv prevention

trayfie Sunday, December 25, 2011

You can get a HIV DNA test. This test checks for the presence of the virus itself not the antibodies. This test can be taken 28 days after suspected exposure and the test results are highly accurate. Look it up for more information.

rkwat Wednesday, November 5, 2008

AIDS is the silent tsunnami of asia.

guest Friday, June 27, 2008

Very useful information but difficult to cite, especially in APA style. Would be helpful to include author's name and publication date.

Do you wish to consult Epidemiologist for your problem? Ask your question

Most Popular on Medindia