How is transfusion-transmitted HIV infection prevented?

Updated: Jan 15, 2017
  • Author: Mudassar Zia, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

With the 2002-2003 licensure of HIV minipool nucleic acid testing (MP-NAT), HIV-1 p24 antigen testing has been eliminated as a blood donor screening test. This is because the window period reduction that is achieved with the antigen test is only 6 days, compared with a window period reduction of approximately 11 days with NAT.

MP-NAT detects viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) rather than the p24 protein; because the viral RNA appears in blood before p24, an infection can be detected earlier, and the window period is therefore reduced. Furthermore, all p24-antigen–positive, anti-HIV–negative donors are positive in HIV MP-NAT. [21, 22, 23] HIV-positive individuals are permanently deferred from blood donations.


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