§ Mr. Ashley
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what, pursuant to his answer of 17 December,Official Report, column 688, is the exact number of patients in the United Kingdom, who received blood infected with AIDS virus, if these patients got the virus from one or more batches of contaminated blood; if they were told the result of the infection; over what period of time were these people infected; when was the last indication of an infected blood transfusion; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Newton
The very small chance of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection arising from a blood transfusion in the United Kingdom was further reduced from August 1983 when potential donors in high-risk groups were asked not to give blood. Screening of all donations for antibodies to HIV began in October 1985; there have been no reports of HIV infection arising from transfusions given in England and Wales after that date.398W
The exact number of patients in the United Kingdom who have received blood infected with HIV is unknown. In general, infected patients would be identified only if they became ill later. At the end of 1987, 41 cases of HIV infection associated with blood transfusions given in the United Kingdom before October 1985 had been reported to the communicable disease surveillance centre. This figure includes the eight cases of AIDS to which I referred in my reply on 17 December 1987 at column 688.
Because blood from different donors is not pooled into batches, an infected donation would have affected only one recipient.