Legal, financial, and public health consequences of HIV contamination of blood and blood products in the 1980s and 1990s.

Weinberg PD, Hounshell J, Sherman LA, et al.
Ann Intern Med 2002;19;136(4):312-319.
Review by :
NATA Review
The reviewer has only read the summary. The article emphasizes something that is well known. However, practically no valid data from developing countries is used as they do not even have enough funds to perform confirmation tests. Therefore, even the prevalence data often are wrong (too high, and often no data exist concerning frequency of seroconversion (incidence), which is decisive in order to evaluate the real infectious risk of the donor population. In addition, why should we compare the risk between these different countries as blood components are not exchanged between developed and developing countries? The latter can only solve the various health problems inclusive transfusion risk in relation to their economic resources. Those of us from wealthy countries cannot push these countries to focus particularly on blood safety when other, even more critical health problems cannot be solved due to the economic situation. Therefore, I cannot find any sense in such comparative studies unless it appeals for the support of these countries.

– V. Kretschmer.