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HIV-Positive Chinese Man's Illegal Blood Sales Have Caused 28 New HIV Cases; Clinic Director Says He Originally Tested Negative

December 22, 2005

Local officials in Dehui, China, investigating the case of an an HIV-positive man who made illegal blood sales at the city's Central Blood Bank between January 2003 and June 2004 announced on Wednesday that the man -- identified as Song -- sold his blood 17 times at the clinic, causing 28 new HIV cases, China Daily reports (He, China Daily, 12/22). The health bureau of Changchun, China, which has authority in Dehui, began investigating the blood bank in October 2005 after six recipients of blood transfusions donated by the bank died. Bureau officials diagnosed Song as HIV-positive on Oct. 20 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/6). Police have detained Ding Zuofu, director of the blood bank, and 10 of his colleagues for further investigation, and seven officials -- including the directors -- of the Dehui municipal health bureau have either been removed from their positions or placed on probation by the Chinese government. Zhao Xiumei, deputy director of the blood bank, said that Song underwent two HIV tests before being allowed to donate blood and his tests were both HIV-negative (China Daily, 12/22). China's Ministry of Health earlier this month announced new rules that will "severely punish those responsible" for collecting and distributing untested blood that leads to people becoming infected with bloodborne diseases such as HIV through subsequent transfusions. The rules -- which will take effect in March -- are intended to enforce a 1998 ban on blood sales and also will make collection centers responsible for the safety of donated blood. Although the 1998 ban reduced the number of blood-collection organizations operating in the country, about 350 such groups currently operate and allegedly remain motivated by profit (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/6).

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