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About 80% of People Worldwide Do Not Have Access to Safe Blood; Contaminated Blood Causes 5% of HIV Infections in Africa

June 14, 2005

About 80% of people worldwide do not have access to safe blood and contaminated blood causes about 5% of all new HIV infections in Africa, the World Health Organization announced on Tuesday, which is the first World Blood Donor Day, Xinhua/People's Daily reports (Xinhua/People's Daily, 6/14). According to a WHO release, 82% of the world population does not have access to safe blood in part because 60% of the world's safe blood supply goes to just 18% of the world's population (WHO release, 6/14). Of the 81 million units of blood collected annually, only 27 million are collected in low- and medium-income countries, where 82% of the world's population lives (SAPA/, 6/14). In addition, most developing nations do not test blood for diseases, including HIV and hepatitis C (Xinhua/People's Daily, 6/14).

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