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     FrontPage Edition: Sun 13 Nov 2005

Five HIV-positive blood donors prosecuted


Prosecution of HIV-Positive Blood Donors
Five blood donors who were tested HIV positive when they donated blood in 2004 have been charged in court on 9 Nov 2005 for an offence under section 11 of the Infectious Diseases Act.
They had allegedly made false declarations in the Donor Health Assessment Questionnaire when they donated blood. This carries a penalty, upon conviction, of imprisonment of up to 2 years or a fine up to $20,000 or both.
The blood donated by the donors in 2004 was not used in any transfusion.
MOH would like to assure the public that we have stringent measures to screen blood donors and state-of-the-art methods are used to test donated blood. These precautions taken to safeguard the health and safety of the patients receiving the blood are comparable to those adopted by blood banks in developed countries such as the US and UK.
MOH wishes to take this opportunity to thank all donors for their altruism in donating the gift of life and for recognising that being socially responsible includes donating healthy and safe blood, and would like to encourage them to continue doing so.
There is no need for regular and potential blood donors to refrain from donating blood when they are truthful in their responses in the Donor Health Assessment Questionnaire. Medical personnel at the Bloodbank@HSA and blood mobiles will then assess their eligibility to donate blood.
MOH would like to emphasise that persons who are at risk of HIV infection should not donate blood as the integrity of our national blood supply depends to a certain extent on our donor's honesty and sense of social responsibility.
We also would like to urge the members of the public, who are interested in testing themselves for HIV, should do so at polyclinics and private clinics. HIV testing is also available in Singapore at the anonymous-testing clinic at Kelantan Lane.

Source: Press Release 9 Nov 2005

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