Texas Man Becomes First to Contract HIV Through Donated Blood Since 1999 Adoption of ‘Rigorous’ Testing Standards
A Texas man who was infected with HIV from donated blood he received during heart surgery has become the first person known to contract the virus since U.S. blood banks adopted "rigorous new screening technology" three years ago, the AP/Dallas Morning News reports. David Autrey, a 51-year-old man from Chilton, Texas, contracted HIV through blood he received during emergency heart bypass surgery in August 2000 at Scott & White Hospital. The blood had been donated at the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center in San Antonio (AP/Dallas Morning News, 2/9). Dr. Michael Busch, a professor at the University of California-San Francisco and an executive with Blood Centers of the Pacific, said that although new blood tests for HIV are "highly sophisticated," they do not always detect the virus in blood from those who donate soon after contracting the virus (AP/Baltimore Sun, 2/10). Shelley Valdez, a spokesperson for the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, said that Autrey was the only person exposed to the contaminated blood and that the blood bank has located all the tainted blood. Busch stated that there are no other known cases of HIV being transmitted through donated blood since the new testing standards were adopted (Washington Post, 2/10). The newer testing uses nucleic acid testing, which detects the actual virus, as opposed to testing that looks for antibodies to the virus (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/20/00). Experts say that the chances of contracting HIV through donated blood is one in two million to three million transfusions (AP/Baltimore Sun, 2/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.