Sunday, Dec 03, 2023 07:15 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, Dec 03, 2023 01:35 [IST]

HIV and Blood transfusion

Dr AMRITA DHAKAL Assistant Professor, Dept of Pathology Central Referral Hospital Sikkim Manipal Ins

HIV/AIDS has had a profound impact on the world, affecting millions of lives and leaving an indelible mark on our societies. Despite the remarkable progress made in medical advancements and treatment options, HIV/AIDS remains a significant global health challenge. An estimated 38 million people live with the virus today. And more than 35 million people have died due to HIV/AIDS related illnesses since the first case detected.

Description: How safe is blood transfusion in humans?

AIDS is caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus that attacks the body’s immune system. This virus can be transmitted through blood, semen and vaginal fluid.  Therefore, the virus can be transmitted to the recipient by transfusing blood from an infected person to an uninfected person.  In early days of the epidemic, blood transfusion posed a significant risk factor due to absence of a virus detection method. Today, the risk of contracting HIV from a blood transfusion is minimal as scientist developed a test in 1980s that allowed blood centres to screen all donated blood for HIV.

Preventing HIV transmission through blood transfusion involves rigorous measures, including screening of all donated blood for HIV using a highly sensitive test that can detect HIV even in the early stages of infection. Additionally, blood from donors who are at low risk of HIV infection are prioritized. This includes people who have not engaged in high-risk behaviours, such as sharing needles or having unprotected sex. These precautions have drastically reduced the risk of contracting HIV from a blood transfusion.

Despite the associated challenges, blood donation remains a  safe and crucial way to help others. Millions of people depend on blood transfusion every year to survive accidents, surgeries and illnesses. A single donation can save up to three lives. Consider making a life saving contribution by donating blood today.



Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi