The letter stated that the blood banks need to send a blood donor to integrated counselling and testing centres if their blood is detected with HIV.
Mumbai: The State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) has issued a letter to all blood banks across Maharashtra stating that the blood banks need to send a blood donor to integrated counselling and testing centres (ICTC) if their blood is detected with HIV.
In cases where the donated blood is found to be HIV positive, it’s the duty of the blood banks to notify the donors that they are HIV positive. This is essential so that they can be sent to the ICT centres for further counselling and treatment.
The SBTC has been recently made aware that a few blood banks were not following the guidelines. In response to this, the organisation has dispatched a letter with suggestions to all blood banks across the state.
SBTC joint director, Dr Arun Thorat, said, “It is the responsibility of the blood banks to inform the blood donor that they are infected with HIV. It’s a law. We have been informed that a few blood banks don’t follow the rules. For this reason, we have sent a letter to all the blood banks.”
He added, “The SBTC has sent a letter to the blood banks so that the infected donors can get timely treatment and be adequately counselled.”
Dr Shrikala Acharya, additional projects director of the Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS), said, “According to set criteria, if a person who has donated blood at a camp is a HIV positive, then they must be counselled and sent to the ICT centre. This responsibility lies with the blood banks. They must inform the donor about his/her HIV status. But very few blood banks follow through with this.”
“There are 58 blood banks in Mumbai, out of them 28 blood banks are supported by our organisation. Now, taking stock of this situation the SBTC has sent letter to all 58 blood banks. This should prove beneficial, she added.
According to the information provided by the Mumbai AIDS Control Society, from 2014 to 2017, 78 people who had donated blood were detected with HIV. It is vital for blood banks to send these donors to ICT centres, as the sudden knowledge that they are suffering from HIV can come as a shock to them and they might take an extreme step.