Transfusion With Donated Blood and Risk of HIV Infection
Before the test for HIV was developed in March 1985,
HIV was spread to people who received blood or blood
products donated by HIV-infected people. Since 1985, the risk has been almost
eliminated. Blood banks and health professionals:
Do not accept blood from people who are at risk
for HIV infection.
Screen donated blood for HIV.
Treat certain blood products
to destroy HIV if it is present.
Today, the risk of getting HIV from a transfusion of one unit of
blood is extremely low. This low risk does not decrease the importance of
limiting the use of donated blood or encouraging people who know they are going
to have surgery to donate their own blood (autologous donation).
HIV is the virus that can become AIDS.
AIDS is defined as the most advanced stage of the virus, where the immune system has become so damaged that you're vulnerable to infection and cancers that come from infections. Those are called opportunistic illnesses, because they take advantage of your weakened immune system. They are often fatal.