November 22, 1985

Transfusion-Associated Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome in the United States

Author Affiliations

From the Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta (Drs Peterman, Jaffe, Feorino, Getchell, Haverkos, and Curran and Ms Warfield); and the New York City Department of Health (Dr Stoneburner). Dr Haverkos is now with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

JAMA. 1985;254(20):2913-2917. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360200065028

By Aug 15, 1985, one hundred ninety-four cases of possible transfusion-associated acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) had been reported to the Centers for Disease Control. Cases received their transfusions in 30 states. Infants account for 10% of the cases, suggesting an increased susceptibility to developing AIDS. Investigations one to six years after the transfusions have identified high-risk donors to 47 cases. Of 47 high-risk donors tested, 40 had a reactive serology for human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus (HTLV-III/LAV) antibody, including five with no risk for AIDS by history. The HTLV-III/LAV was isolated from 23 of 26 seroreactive high-risk donors, most of whom remained asymptomatic. Blood components that transmitted HTLV-III/LAV included red cells, platelets, plasma, and whole blood. The time from transfusion to diagnosis of AIDS ranged from four to 84 months. The risk of developing AIDS after a blood transfusion has been low and will be lowered further by using both self-deferral and antibody screening.

(JAMA 1985;254:2913-2917)