The U.S. blood supply is among
the safest in the world. Nearly all people infected with HIV through blood transfusions
received those transfusions before 1985,
the year HIV testing began for all donated blood.
The Public Health Service
has recommended an approach to blood safety in the United States that includes
stringent donor selection practices and the use of
screening tests. U.S. blood donations have been screened for antibodies to
HIV-1 since March 1985 and HIV-2 since June 1992. The p24 Antigen test was
1996. Blood and blood products that test positive for HIV are safely discarded
and are not used for transfusions.
Tests Performed on Each
Unit of Donated Blood* (Source: American Red Cross)
HIV/AIDS HIV- I
HIV-I p24 Antigen
Nucleic Acid Test
Hepatitis C Anti-HCV
Hepatitis B Surface
Hepatitis B Core
Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV)
HTLV -I/II Antibody
The improvement of processing methods for blood products also has reduced
the number of infections resulting from the use of these products.
the risk of infection with HIV in the United States through receiving a blood
transfusion or blood products is extremely low and has become progressively
lower, even in geographic areas with high HIV prevalence rates.
* This list
is subject to change as new blood safety opportunities and requirements emerge.
Additional tests may be performed to meet special patient needs.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348,
8A-8P (EST) M-F. Closed weekends and major federal holidays -