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Blood donor infects 21 with AIDS in Jilin
(AFP/China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-28 06:54

A man in northeast China has infected at least 21 people with the AIDS virus via sexual intercourse and the sale of his tainted blood.

A volunteer receives a dose of AIDS vaccine in the first clinical test to fight the disease in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in this March 12, 2005 file photo. [newsphoto]
A volunteer receives a dose of AIDS vaccine in the first clinical test to fight the disease in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in this March 12, 2005 file photo. [newsphoto]

The man, surnamed Song, donated blood to the central blood bank in the city of Dehui, Northeast China's Jilin Province, 15 times from January 2003 to June 2004, his HIV infection was not detected and the blood was given to 25 people.

Before the local health authority started investigating the incident in October, six blood recipients died, and could not be conclusively established that they were infected. If the six died of AIDS the total number of people infected by Song would be 27.

Experts are certain that 18 people were infected by Song's blood of whom three have died.

In addition, the man passed on the virus to two sex partners, one of whom in turn passed it on to her husband, making for a total of 27 victims, according to the Xinhua news agency.

The scandal came to light only when a woman, surnamed Wang, tested positive for HIV in September, according to earlier report.

She was infected by contaminated blood given during surgery at Dehui municipal hospital in March 2003, and died after investigations started two months ago.

The blood was provided by Song, 41, who was finally confirmed as an HIV carrier on October 20, 2005, said the health bureau of the city of Changchun, which is in charge of Dehui.

Selling blood is illegal in China it has to be collected only from voluntary donors but some hospitals are believed to buy to ensure sufficient supply.

The director and some officials of the Dehui municipal health bureau have been removed from their positions.

The director of the blood station and other 10 people have been detained for further investigation, Xinhua News Agency reported.

China said earlier this week the number of known HIV/AIDS cases throughout the country was around 650,000, down from a government estimate in 2003 of 840,000.

Despite the lower figure, health officials warned against complacency, saying an estimated 70,000 new infections took place in 2005.

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