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DOH: HIV-positive blood units increased in 2016

By Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 11, 2017 - 12:00am MANILA, Philippines - The increasing number of HIV cases in the country has apparently affected the blood supply collected by the Department of Health (DOH) in 2016.

In its 2016 HIV and AIDS Registry of the Philippines, the DOH-Epidemiology Bureau said 550 blood units collected last year were confirmed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to be tainted with HIV. 

But the DOH was quick to clarify the blood units were not transfused. “The blood units were discarded after initial screening at the blood banks and sent to RITM for confirmation.”

“These were confirmed HIV-positive blood units, not blood donors,” the DOH noted.

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The DOH added the month of August had the highest number of infected blood with 71 units while February posted the lowest figure at 25.

The registry also showed there has been a consistent rise in HIV cases over the past seven years.

In 2016, the DOH recorded 9,264 cases of HIV/AIDS, including 1,969 deaths. This means that 26 new cases were being documented daily, up from one in 2008, four in 2010, nine in 2012 and 17 in 2014.

This also brought to 39,622 the total number of cases since the registry started in January 1984.



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