Can You Get Hiv From A Blood Transfusion
Receiving a blood transfusion or other products made from blood is safe in the UK as all blood products have been screened for infections such as HIV since 1985.
In countries that dont have strict checks on the safety of their blood supply, receiving contaminated blood can pass the virus on. This can also happen in countries that dont screen other blood products, organs or sperm.
Giving blood has never been a risk.
Ways Hiv Can Be Transmitted
How is HIV passed from one person to another?
Most people who get HIV get it through anal or vaginal sex, or sharing needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment . But there are powerful tools that can help prevent HIV transmission.
Can I get HIV from anal sex?
You can get HIV if you have anal sex with someone who has HIV without using protection .
- Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV.
- Being the receptive partner is riskier for getting HIV than being the insertive partner .
- The bottoms risk of getting HIV is very high because the rectums lining is thin and may allow HIV to enter the body during anal sex.
- The top is also at risk because HIV can enter the body through the opening at the tip of the penis , the foreskin if the penis isnt circumcised, or small cuts, scratches, or open sores anywhere on the penis.
Can I get HIV from vaginal sex?
You can get HIV if you have vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using protection .
Can HIV be transmitted from a mother to her baby?
HIV can be transmitted from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. However, it is less common because of advances in HIV prevention and treatment.
Can I get HIV from sharing needles, syringes, or other drug injection equipment?
You are at high risk for getting HIV if you with someone who has HIV. Never share needles or other equipment to inject drugs, hormones, steroids, or silicone.
How To Be Safe When Coming Into Contact With Infected Blood
A condom will act as a barrier against any contact with blood during sex.
As well as sex, sharing equipment for injecting drugs is a way blood can get into someones body. This can be avoided by using fresh needles and not sharing needles, syringes and other equipment.
If a woman has HIV, her menstrual blood also carries a risk of transmission if she has a detectable viral load.
If youre HIV negative and taking pre-exposure prophylaxis youll be protected against getting HIV if you come into contact with infectious blood.
You May Like: When To Get Tested For Hiv
Can Blood Transfusions Cure Hiv
Welcome to our science-like weekly feature, “Hey, Science,” in which we will have our most provocative scientific questions answered by real live scientists . No question is too smart for us to tackle, theoretically speaking. This week, experts address a Gawker reader’s wacky theory: Can massive blood transfusions be used to treat AIDS?
THE QUESTION: This question comes from inquisitive reader Michael, who asks, “Could you cure, or at a minimum delay the effects of, the AIDS virus by simultaneously drawing infected blood and transfusing in ‘clean’ blood into the patient? You would still have tainted blood in the system, but wouldn’t this turn the clock back a bit in regard to how much of the virus is in the person’s blood stream?” What say you, doctorsâcan EXTREME blood transfusions fix HIV?
Dinesh Rao, assistant professor, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA:
Not a bad question actually. The issue is that the virus infects T cells and these reside both in the blood and in tissues, such as the lymph nodes and the gastrointestinal tract. So even if one were to entirely rid the blood of the virus , there would be other sites such as those I mention that would still have “reservoirs” of virus. Add to this the difficulty and potential complications of doing the blood exchange, which is done for certain other conditions… And you have a sufficiently bad benefit/harm ratio to make the procedure untenable.
Michael Poles, associate professor, NYU School of Medicine:
Can I Get Hiv From Donating Blood
There is no chance of getting HIV from donating blood. New, disposable and sterile needles will be used to collect your blood.
If you suspect that the needle your healthcare professional is using is not new or sterile then ask them to change the needle and check that it comes out of a sealed pack before agreeing to give blood.
Also Check: How Long Do You Live With Hiv
Blood Transfusions Linked To Infection Risk In Hospitals
Hospitalized patients who had fewer blood transfusions had lower risks of infection, according to a large analysis. The results suggest that more conservative transfusion strategies could help reduce infection rates at health care facilities.
About 1 in every 20 hospital inpatients develops an infection related to their care. These infections can have devastating consequences lengthening the time hospitalized and, in some patients, contributing to death. Strategies to reduce infections include using checklists, improving hand hygiene, and avoiding the use of urinary catheters.
One common inpatient therapy is transfusion of red blood cells. More than 37,000 units of red blood cells are transfused every day in the United States. Transfusions can replace blood lost during surgery or after a serious injury. Transfusions may also help people who are unable to make enough blood due to an illness, such as cancer or kidney failure. Transfusions are often given when patients have low levels of hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein in red blood cells. Normal hemoglobin levels range from about 14 to 17 g/dL in men and 12 to 15 g/dL in women.
The risk of developing an infection from a blood transfusion is extremely low. Donated blood is carefully screened for infectious agents, such as viruses. However, when patients receive blood from a donor, their immune system may react to substances found in the stored donor blood, placing them at greater risk of infection from other sources.
Research For Your Health
The NHLBI is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Servicesâ National Institutes of Health âthe Nationâs biomedical research agency that makes important scientific discovery to improve health and save lives. We are committed to advancing science and translating discoveries into clinical practice to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders including the improvement of blood transfusion. Learn about current and future NHLBI efforts to improve health through research and scientific discovery.
Recommended Reading: What Is Anti Hiv Test
If I Have A Viral Load Blip Could I Pass On Hiv
People with an undetectable viral load sometimes experience what are called blips in their viral load. Their viral load increases from undetectable to a low but detectable level before becoming undetectable again on the next test.
For example, your viral load may temporarily rise to 60 copies/ml or 150 copies/ml. This should not be a cause for concern.
Remember that in the PARTNER and Opposites Attract studies, undetectable was defined as below 200 copies/ml. These studies showed that transmission does not occur below this level.
However, a blip could indicate a problem if it happens around the same time as missed or late doses of your medication, or if your viral load stays above detectable on two consecutive tests.
Hiv Transmission Through Transfusion
Transmission of human immunodeficiency virus through transfusion of contaminated blood components was documented in the United States in 1982 . Since then, the risk for transfusion-transmitted HIV infection has been almost eliminated by the use of questionnaires to exclude donors at higher risk for HIV infection and the use of highly sensitive laboratory screening tests to identify infected blood donations. The risk for acquiring HIV infection through blood transfusion today is estimated conservatively to be one in 1.5 million, based on 2007–2008 data . This report describes the first U.S. case of transfusion-transmitted HIV infection reported to CDC since 2002 . A blood center in Missouri discovered that blood components from a donation in November 2008 tested positive for HIV infection. A lookback investigation determined that this donor had last donated in June 2008, at which time he incorrectly reported no HIV risk factors and his donation tested negative for the presence of HIV. One of the two recipients of blood components from this donation, a patient undergoing kidney transplantation, was found to be HIV infected, and an investigation determined that the patient’s infection was acquired from the donor’s blood products. Even though such transmissions are rare, health-care providers should consider the possibility of transfusion-transmitted HIV in HIV-infected transfusion recipients with no other risk factors.
Recommended Reading: How Often Should You Get Tested For Hiv
Mother To Child Transmission
Having HIV does not mean a woman cant have a healthy baby. The key is to work with a doctor to take all the necessary precautions.
Aside from blood and sexual secretions, HIV can also be transmitted during pregnancy or through breast milk while breastfeeding. Mother to child transmissions can also occur at any point during pregnancy, as well as during delivery.
All pregnant women should be screened for HIV. Antiretroviral therapy is strongly recommended for pregnant women with HIV to achieve viral suppression. This will subsequently reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby during pregnancy and labor. Sometimes a caesarean delivery is recommended to reduce transmission during delivery if the infection is not suppressed.
Its also important to protect the baby after birth. Breastfeeding might not be recommended in some cases, though consistent viral suppression may reduce the transmission of HIV through breast milk. A doctor may also recommend that the baby take antiretroviral therapy for up to six weeks after birth.
Overall, great strides have been made in decreasing HIV transmission between mothers and infants due to improved screening and use of anti-HIV drugs during pregnancy.
In the United States, the
Man Who Contracted Hiv From Blood Transfusion Plans To Sue Florida Blood Supplier
One of the two people in Tampa Bay, Fla., who became infected with HIV through a blood transfusion is suing Florida Blood Services, the not-for-profit agency that collected and screened the blood, the reports . FDA and state officials announced last week that they are investigating FBS after the blood agency said that two people had contracted HIV after being treated with contaminated blood products. The blood, which tested negative for HIV, was taken in March from a regular donor, who tested positive for the virus in May. Because the March donation tested negative for the virus, officials believe that the donor had just contracted HIV when he or she made the donation. After a person acquires HIV, it can take seven to 10 days for the body to produce antibodies to HIV that are detectable by standard blood tests . A lawyer for the man, who received the blood in March during abdominal surgery, and his son sent a letter to the blood agency on Friday announcing his intention to file suit.
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations.Sign up for an email subscription.
You May Like: How Are Drugs For Hiv Patients Administered
What Does This Mean For Me
‘Undetectable equals Untransmittable’ has been a life-changing finding for many people living with HIV. It means that if you are on effective treatment with an undetectable viral load, you do not have to worry about passing on HIV through sex, even if you do not use a condom.
This has helped many people living with HIV have more fulfilling sex lives and less anxiety around sex.
Knowing that ‘Undetectable equals Untransmittable’ is especially useful for people wishing to have a child. Couples in which one person has undetectable HIV and the other is HIV negative can have unprotected sex in order to conceive.
However, the law on HIV may not have caught up with the science. In some countries, condomless sex without disclosing your HIV status is a criminal offence, regardless of the likelihood of HIV transmission. For information on specific countries, visit our page on criminalisation laws around the world.
“For as long as your viral load stays undetectable, your chance of passing on HIV to a sexual partner is zero.”
How Do I Protect Myself From Hiv
There are a number of ways you can protect yourself from HIV, including:
- using a condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex
- in some countries PrEP is available. This is a course of HIV drugs which if taken consistently as advised by your healthcare professional prevents HIV infection through sex
- avoiding sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment
- taking HIV treatment if you are a new or expectant mother living with HIV, as this will dramatically reduce the risk of passing HIV to your baby during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding
- asking your healthcare professional if the blood product you are receiving has been tested for HIV
- taking precautions if you are a healthcare worker, such as wearing protection , washing hands after contact with blood and other bodily fluids, and safely disposing of sharp equipment
- if you think you have been exposed to HIV you may be able to access PEP, a 4-week course of ARV drugs taken after possible HIV exposure to prevent HIV infection. You must start PEP within 72 hours of possible exposure to be effective.
For more detailed information on how to prevent HIV infection visit the relevant page from the listed below:
Also Check: How Do You Know If You Hiv
The Fluorescent Treponemal Antibody Absorption Test
This test is still regarded as the gold standard confirmation of a STS. The FTA-ABS test has been available since the mid 1960s. The test detects two different antibodies: the first, called group antibody, reacts with antigens shared with other treponemes. Serum samples are absorbed with an absorbent to remove group antibody which allows detection of the treponemal specific antibody. A fluorescein tag is added which results in fluorescent T. pallidum and sample fluorescence is calculated against a standard control. While these tests are highly specific and sensitive, they may produce variable results due to variation in equipment reagents and interpretation of test results. Borderline or equivocal readings have less than a 5% chance of being associated with syphilis.
First Case Of Hiv From Blood Transfusion Traced To Missouri Donor
The only recorded case of HIV transmission from a bloodtransfusion in the last eight years has been linked to a Missouriblood donor, according to a federal report.
A man in his 40s donated contaminated blood at a Missouri bloodcenter in June 2008, according to the report released Thursday bythe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The man’s HIV positive status was not confirmed until after hedonated blood a second time, in November 2008. The contaminatedblood was destroyed and the man was prohibited from futuredonations.
In the meantime, investigators found that the man’s blood fromthe first donation had been transfused into two patients. Onepatient in Arkansas died of heart disease two days after receivinga transfusion during a July 2008 surgery, and it is unknown whetherthe patient contracted HIV. The second patient, of Colorado,received a blood transfusion during a kidney transplant in August2008 and later tested positive for HIV.
Lab results confirmed that the blood transfusion was the causeof the HIV infection in the kidney transplant patient. The lastknown case of HIV transmission from a blood transfusion was in2002.
Before both blood donations, the Missouri man told health careworkers that he did not have any risk factors for HIV. In afollow-up interview with the Missouri Department of Health andSenior Services, the man acknowledged having anonymous sexualaffairs with men and women before his initial blood donation.
Read Also: How Long Hiv To Aids
How Is Hiv Spread From Person To Person
HIV can only be spread through specific activities. In the United States, the most common ways are:
- Having vaginal or anal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. Anal sex is riskier than vaginal sex.
- Sharing injection drug equipment , such as needles, with someone who has HIV.
Less common ways are:
- From mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. However, the use of HIV medicines and other strategies have helped lower the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to 1% or less in the United States.
- Getting stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle or other sharp object. This is a risk mainly for health care workers. The risk is very low.
HIV is spread only in extremely rare cases by:
- Having oral sex. But in general, the chance that an HIV-negative person will get HIV from oral sex with an HIV-positive partner is extremely low.
Improving Health With Current Research
Learn about the following ways the NHLBI continues to translate current research into improved health for people who give the gift of life, and for people across the lifespan who need a blood transfusion. Research on this topic is part of the NHLBIâs broader commitment to advancing blood disorders and blood safety scientific discovery.
You May Like: How Long Do Hiv Symptoms Last
Bites That Break The Skin
A bite that opens the skin and causes bleeding can lead to the transmission of HIV. However, according to the
goes up with increasing viral load.
Viral load is highest both during the early phase of HIV and without treatment with antiretroviral medications. Taking antiretroviral medications every day can reduce a persons viral load to very low levels that cant be detected through testing.
In this way, antiretroviral medications arent only a treatment, but an important tool for prevention. When HIV cant be detected in the blood, a person living with HIV cant sexually transmit the virus to a partner without HIV.
This principle is called Undetectable = Untransmittable and has been supported by
up to 6 months of taking antiretroviral medications each day to achieve an undetectable viral load.
A persons viral load is said to be durably undetectable when all test results are undetectable for at least 6 months after the first undetectable result.
Theres no need to be afraid of having casual contact with someone who is living with HIV. The virus doesnt live on the skin and cant live very long outside of the body.
Additionally, bodily fluids like saliva, tears, and sweat dont transmit HIV either.
Therefore, casual contact, such as holding hands, hugging, or sitting next to someone who has HIV, wont transmit the virus. Closed-mouth kissing isnt a threat either.