Blood recipients contract HIV in Peru

Friday, September 14, 2007

At least four people in Peru have contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS after receiving blood transfusions that were infected with the deadly virus.

As a result, all of Peru's 240 blood banks have been closed pending further investigation and an emergency has been declared by the government.

"This situation cannot continue. All of Peru's blood banks are being reviewed. We do not want people to panic, what we have to do is be more careful, strengthen our care," said Carlos Vallejos, the Health Minister of Peru.

The country's government made its decision when Judith Rivera, 44 and mother of four children, went public with claims that during an operation, she was infected with HIV when doctors gave her a transfusion.

Soon after the government admitted that at least three other individuals, one being an infant child only 11 months old, another a 17 year-old boy, contracted the virus through blood transfusions and all received care from the same hospitals.

Vallejos also stated that all of the individuals infected will receive whatever care is necessary to treat their conditions.