HIV risk for Irish children

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The Independent Online
Medical authorities in Ireland have warned of a possible new blood contamination tragedy after telling the parents of 57 children that they may have received transfusions infected with HIV.

Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, Dublin, was one of two hospitals sent blood from a donor in 1990. Three years later the donor tested positive for HIV. At the time the Blood Transfusion Service Board checked with the other hospital given part of the donation, in Kilkenny, and found that the recipient who had been given red blood cells there had tested negative.

This year the Board again alerted the children's hospital, which has advised the parents to have their children tested. Dr William Murphy, the Board's director, said yesterday this was because it had learned that an infected donor could produce a "false" negative result from an HIV test during the three weeks after becoming infected, yet still transmit the virus.