Number Of HIV-Positive Blood Donors In Japan Reaches Record High

Armen Hareyan's picture

The numberof blood donors in Japanwho tested positive for HIV reached a record high of 102 in 2007, according topreliminary data released on Wednesday by the Japanese Red Cross Society, Kyodo News/AOL reports. The report -- which wassubmitted to a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry committee -- showed that thenumber of HIV-positive donors in 2007 increased by 15 compared with 2006 andsurpassed the previous record of 92 in 2004. The number also exceeded 100 forthe first time since 1986, when the HIV antibody test was introduced for blooddonors. The report showed that the number of blood donors per 100,000 livingwith HIV also reached a record high of 2.06 in 2007. The number of total blooddonors in the country reached its lowest level of about 4.9 million last year.

The Osaka prefecture saw the largest increase,with 26 cases, followed by 17 cases in Tokyo.Six of the 102 HIV-positive donors tested negative for the virus in preliminaryblood antibody tests but later were diagnosed as HIV-positive in confirmationtests, the report said. A ministry official said the record number could bebecause of an increase in blood donors seeking HIV tests via blood donation."To prevent the possibility of the virus spreading, the ministry is urgingthe public to refrain from blood donation for such purposes," the officialsaid. The society does not plan to inform donors of their test results becausethe tests are designed to prevent the virus from spreading through donatedblood products, Kyodo News/AOL reports (KyodoNews/AOL, 1/23).

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