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HIV and AIDS

What Is My risk Of Getting HIV From A Blood Transfusion?

10/21/1999

Question:

I was given two units of blood in July as the result of emergency surgery. What is the time frame after which I can rest assured that I did not acquire HIV or Hepatitis C from the blood?

Answer:

Blood transfusions today are much safer than in the past, and the risk of acquiring infections such as HIV or Hepatitis C is very very low but not impossibble. Infections transmitted by transfusions usually cause acute illnesses in the first 2 to 6 weeks, with detectable antibodies developing shortly thereafter. If you had transfusions in July, and your HIV and Hep C antibody tests are negative now, I might recheck them in 3 months (or 6 months after the transfusions) before definitively saying they are negative. Again, remember, the risk involved here is very very small.

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Response by:

Kenneth   Skahan, MD Kenneth Skahan, MD
Assistant Professor in Infectious Diseases
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati