Persons with early syphilis identified through blood or plasma donation screening in the United States.

Gardella C, Marfin AA, Kahn RH, Swint E, Markowitz LE
J Infect Dis 2002;185(4):545-549.
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The paper shows that early syphilis infection is often detected in blood donors and thus demonstrates that syphilis testing in blood donors should not be omitted (this question is currently being discussed in the USA). Furthermore, by comparing remunerated (“paid”) and non-remunerated (“voluntary”) donors, the study shows that there is no significant difference as far as syphilis is concerned. With some caution, this should be applicable to other sexually transmitted infections that can also be transmitted by blood transfusion (e.g., HIV). It is a pity that the authors did not calculate the incidence and prevalence of syphilis in blood donors, given the lack of such data at the present time.

– V. Kretschmer.

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