To The Editor: The Commentary on Mexico's evolving human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic by Drs Strathdee and Magis-Rodriguez1 raised the question of what other countries can learn from Mexico's experience. There is one relevant point the authors did not discuss. Transfusion-associated HIV infection (TAHI) is still a latent concern in some developing countries.2 Despite the goal set by the World Health Organization in 1997 for all blood donations to come from unpaid volunteer donors, as of 2006 only 49 of 124 countries surveyed had established this as a standard and many still relied heavily on paid and unsafe donors.3 An estimated 77% of donations in developing countries are from voluntary unpaid donors compared with 92% in developed countries, and more than 1 million blood units were collected from paid donors in 2006.2
Castillo-Mancilla JR. The Changing HIV Epidemic in Mexico. JAMA. 2008;300(21):2484. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.743
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