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The World in Medicine
May 10, 2000

Safe Blood in the Americas

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JAMA. 2000;283(18):2379. doi:10.1001/jama.283.18.2379

A new blood safety initiative in the Americas is aimed at reducing paid blood donations, increasing voluntary donations, and improving screening for infectious agents.

"We want people in the countries to understand and accept blood donation as a desirable, altruistic act," George A. O. Alleyne, MD, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), said last month as the initiative was launched on World Health Day. Only five nations in the Americas—Aruba, Curaçao, Cuba, Canada, and the United States—have all-voluntary blood donation. Sixteen countries—eight in the Caribbean, six in Latin America, and Canada and the United States—screen all donated blood for HIV and hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) viruses.