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Author Topic: Missouri blood donation transmission  (Read 518 times)

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Offline wtfimpoz

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  • Posts: 418
  • Let's make biscuits!
Missouri blood donation transmission
« on: October 25, 2010, 12:55:55 PM »
http://www.poz.com/articles/HIV_Transmission_Transfusion_1_19284.shtml

What a small world we live in.  I spent a few years and Missouri (2000-2004), and I recall a subset of guys who claimed to utilize the blood donation system as their preferred means of testing.  To most of us, this is as appalling as it is to the general public not only because of the risk it creates, but because it further marginalizes both high risk populations and pozzies alike.  What most outsiders won't realize is that shortcomings in the testing system made their behavior rational, though still completely evil.

We were all told that the "window period" on our elisa tests was an astonishing SIX MONTHS after exposure, and it consistently took at least a week for every test to be returned from a central testing facility.  Anything earlier than six months was a explained to be a waste of time.  Unlike other states that refuse anonymous testing but then provide it anyways or give you hints on how to get it, Missouri truly insisted on taking our name and contact info BEFORE blood was drawn.  If I recall correctly, we had to show photo identification.  In a small college atmosphere, we knew that our results would be anything but "confidential".  An uncomfortable inventory of our sexual history was taken, and discussions with health educators frequently took a moralizing tone.  I remember being chastised for wasting time and resources after getting tested a mere four months after my first sexual experience.  I was lucky though, in that I was a college student with access to tests.  It was virtually impossible to find a testing site off campus.

Under those circumstances, residents of the area had strong motivation to abuse the blood donation system.  It was perceived as the only way to get complete assurance in a reasonable period of time, or get an answer without having to divulge your sexual history while your roomate's girlfriend was in the next cubicle. 

Its quite possible that MO had substantially upgraded its testing infrastructure and procedures by the time the infection took place, but I doubt it.  If not, I certainly hope that someone, somewhere, comes to understand the importance of humane testing procedures and the role they play in keeping everyone safe.  I always found the Home Access tests, located in Illinois drugstores just an hour or so away, to be the preferred solution, but that obviously wasn't the solution most people chose.
09/01/2009-neg
mid april, 2010, "flu like illness".
06/01/2010-weakly reactive ELISA, indeterminant WB
06/06/2010-reactive ELISA, confirmed positive.

DATE       CD4     %     VL
07/15/10  423     33    88k
08/28/10  489     19    189k
09/06/10-Started ATRIPLA
09/15/10  420     38    1400
11/21/10  517     25    51

 


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